In a game between a team that runs the ball almost exclusively and very well and a team that plays an up-tempo offense, turnovers could make the difference when the Mississippi Rebels (7-5) take on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (7-5) in the Music City Bowl from LP Field in Nashville, TN on Monday, December 30th at 3:15 ET in a game televised nationally on ESPN.
The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Georgia Tech as a small underdog for this contest with the current line at +3 with odds of -106.
Georgia Tech has been to a bowl game every year since 1997, but it snapped an 0-4 run during the era of Coach Paul Johnson by upsetting the USC Trojans in the Sun Bowl last season, rushing for 294 yards with its triple option vs. a USC team not accustomed to facing it.
The Yellow Jackets will now try to do the same thing to the Rebels, who had an uneven season that ended with two straight losses to Missouri and Mississippi State. Yes, the Rebels come out of the mighty SEC while the Yellow Jackets come out of the weaker ACC, but Mississippi is just a mid-level SEC team that that had a losing 3-5 conference record, while Georgia Tech has given better defenses than Mississippi trouble with its option.
The Yellow Jackets actually closed out the regular season vs. another SEC team where they took the Georgia Bulldogs to overtime in their annual rivalry before falling 41-34. Georgia Tech did show in that game though that it can run vs. an SEC defense, piling up 263 rushing yards on 58 carries. A new wrinkle in that contest though was a season-high 232 passing yards from quarterback Vad Lee!
If Lee comes anywhere close to being that successful here, the Georgia Tech would be in line for an upset as nobody has been able to stop its fifth ranked rushing offense that is averaging 312.1 yards per game on 5.6 yards per carry. It helps that their leading rusher has a fullback’s body as the 6-foot, 225-pound David Sims, who averaged 5.6 yards per carry while running for 11 touchdowns, is like a battering ram when he gets downfield.
The highlight of the Mississippi season was an upset win at home over the LSU Tigers at home and the Rebels averaged a nice 473.4 total yards per game this year, mainly because they like employing a “fast-break” offense that gets off a lot of plays without huddling up. However that has also made quarterback Bo Wallace prone to some mistakes.
Granted Wallace cut his interceptions on half this year, throwing nine of them compared to finding the opposition with his throws 17 times last season, but unfortunately he is starting to revert back to those bad habits with four interceptions and no touchdowns passes in the last two games. Wallace does not usually react well when he is under pressure, and he may face some here from NFL prospect Jeremiah Attaochu, who can line up at linebacker or defensive end.
Wallace turnovers could ultimately prove fatal, so take the field goal with the Yellow Jackets in Nashville.
College Football Pick: Georgia Tech +3 (-106)