It’s bowl season once again, and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets will take on the Ole Miss Rebels in the Franklin America Mortgage Music City Bowl on Monday, December 30 in Nashville, TN. Kickoff is set for 3:15 p.m. at LP Field. The contest will be televised on ESPN.
The Yellow Jackets started the season off well, beating Duke, UNC and Elon before losing three straight games to Virginia Tech, Miami and BYU. Simple mistakes and miscues on both sides of the ball contributed to their losses throughout the season. Georgia Tech has had the reputation of starting off fast, jumping ahead with a lead and then losing in the end. In November against Georgia, the Jackets blew a 20-point lead and lost in double overtime at Bobby Dodd. They did the same against Miami, giving up a 17 point lead before halftime and lost the game 45-30. That’s been the story of Tech’s season. Key players for Georgia Tech this season have been Robert Godhih, who averages 10 yards per carry, and Jeremiah Attaochu, who has tied Tech’s record for the most sacks in school history with 31 and earned first-team all-ACC honors.
The Ole Miss Rebels had a decent season, beating Vanderbilt, Texas and LSU in some close contests and ending the regular season at 7-5. Junior quarterback Bo Wallace has thrown for 3,090 yards and 17 touchdowns this season five of them going to wide receiver . They are currently the 23rd ranked passing offense in the country, averaging 285.6 yards per game. Key players for Old Miss this season have been Bo Wallace Robert Nkemdiche. Nkemdiche, the 6-4, 297 pound freshman from Grayson High School was named SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week in November, and posted his first career sack against Troy.
The Music City Bowl looks to be a good battle between two offenses that are efficient in moving the ball don the field. For Ole Miss, their hardest task will be defending the run. Paul Johnson’s Jackets are ranked 4th in the nation in rushing yards. The triple-option offense that Tech runs is very well-known, yet most teams cannot seem to stop it when they face them. Robert Godhigh has the opportunity to be a nightmare for the Rebels, as he has 420 receiving yards and 694 rushing yards this season. David Sims, Tech’s leading rusher, has 846 yards, Zach Laskey, has 458, and QB Vad Lee has 489 yards. That’s four different ball carriers the Yellow Jackets can utilize in the rushing game, which could tire out Ole Miss’s defense quickly.
For the Yellow Jackets, their challenge will be protecting quarterback Vad Lee from the grasp of defensive end Robert Nkemdiche and Ole Miss’s front 4. The SEC All-Freshman team member is a fast, aggressive defender that has no problem getting into the backfield and disrupting plays. Because Tech has had a few issues with fast defensive lines this season, it’s imperative that the offensive line keeps the defense at bay, allowing the plays to develop. Georgia Tech must also keep a close eye on Cody Prewitt, the ball hawk who leads the SEC with six interceptions.
There’s not much history between these two teams, which will also make for an interesting game. This will be Georgia Tech’s 17th straight bowl appearance, which is the second-longest active bowl streak in the nation. Ole Miss is playing in consecutive bowl games for the first time since 2008, and have won five straight bowl games. I predict the Jackets pulling off the win with a final score of 30-17.
I couldn’t leave this post without an honorable mention of one of the best players to ever play the game, Tony Gonzalez. He retired as of Sunday, and the game won’t be the same without him. Best wishes, Tony G!