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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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College Football Monday Michigan State vs Georgia Start Time and Free Pick

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This years Outback Bowl will find a couple of 10-3 teams square off, as Michigan State will take on Georgia The game is scheduled for a start time of 1:00 pm and will be televised nationally on ABC. Currently the odds have Georgia favored by 3 points while the total is sitting at 50.5 points. The Outback Bowl committee has landed what figures to be a highly- competitive matchup, as the Georgia Bulldogs of the SEC take on the Michigan State Spartans of the Big Ten Conference.

Free Analysis: Michigan State enters this game with a 10-3 overall record, but one of those three defeats came in its most recent outing, a 42-39 setback to Wisconsin in the inaugural Big Ten Conference Championship Game. MSU is making its 22nd bowl appearance overall, including its first-ever trip to the Outback Bowl, and the club is 7-14 all-time in the postseason and will be looking for it's its first postseason victory under coach Mark Dantonio. Michigan State is a formidable offensive team, as it generates 30.8 ppg and 390.4 total ypg, and there are standout performers at all the skill positions. QB Kirk Cousins has completed 65 percent of his passes for 3,016 yards and 24 TDs against only seven interceptions, while his favorite target, wideout B.J. Cunningham, has made 72 catches for 1,240 yards and 12 TDs. As for the running game, Le'Veon Bell has racked up 900 yards and 11 TDs while averaging 5.0 ypc. As good as the offense has been for this team, their defense have been so much better. The Spartan's come in ranked 5th overall (272.7 ypg) and 9th in points allowed (17.5 ppg), plus they 11th vs both the pass and run.  Max Bullough leads MSU with 86 total tackles, while Denicos Allen has logged 17 TFL, including 10 sacks. Both Renton Robinson and Isaiah Lewis have four interceptions, while State oveall has grabbed 16 INT's. The Bulldogs fell 42-10 to top-ranked LSU in the SEC championship Dec. 3 in a game in which they allowed 42 unanswered points and finishing with season lows in points, rushing yards and total yards. That loss ended a 10-game winning streak after they dropped their first two contests of the season. Like the Spartans, Georgia also has a formidable defense as opponents are putting up just 19.6 ppg against them, while alllowing only 268.5 total ypg, including a mere 103.4 rushing ypg at a clip of 3.3 ypc. With 29 takeaways and 34 sacks, Georgia is no stranger to the big play. Challenging that Michigan State defense will be a Georgia club that puts up 32.2 ppg and 413.8 total ypg. The Bulldogs have scored 50 offensive touchdowns this season, and 35 have come via the pass. Just a sophomore, Aaron Murray has completed 58.8 percent of his passes for 2,861 yards with 33 TDs against 12 INTs. Rather than rely on one receiver, Murray does a tremendous job of spreading the ball around. Orson Charles is certainly a talented target, as he is considered one of the top tight ends in all of college football. Georgia's ground attack depends heavily on the health of freshman tailback Isaiah Crowell, who figures to play in this game despite an ankle injury. Crowell has rushed for 847 yards and five TDs. These two teams have met twice previously, and both matchups came in bowl games -- the 1989 Gator Bowl and the 2009 Capital One Bowl. The Bulldogs won both clashes.

Free Pick: It's not often that you find teams that rank in the top 12 defensively in total defense, rush defense and pass defense, but that's exactly what we have here. Both teams did allow 42 points in their respective Conference Title games, so you can expect the the focus of this game will be defense for both teams. Prior to their game with the Badgers, State had held their previous 3 opponents to just 13.7 ppg and 318.3 ypg, while Georgia held their their 4 opponents prior to the LSU game to 17 points or less. Let's also note that both teams are in the top 10 in the nation in defensive yards per play as Michigan State is 4th (4.1), while Georgia is 10th (4..4). Both teams are stout vs the run and both teams like to run, so there could be a lot of long yardage situations here and with a lot of running that will chew the clock. Both teams do have solid offenses, but on this day it will be all about the defenses as this game stays well UNDER the total.   



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