The 16th annual Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl is on tap for Monday, Dec. 30, as the Mississippi Rebels take on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at LP Field in Nashville, Tennessee. The game has a start time of 3:15 pm (Eastern) and be will televised on ESPN. Current odds have Mississippi listed as 3 point favorites, while the total sits at 56.5.
Analysis: The Ole Rebels finished the campaign 7-5, with their season highlight coming in the form of a four-game winning streak lasting from Oct. 19 through Nov. 16. They had a signature 27-24 win over LSU during that streak and have now made it to back to back bowls for the first time since 2008-09. The Rebels totaled just 20 points in their final two games as Bo Wallace failed to throw a touchdown pass and had four of his nine interceptions. for the year, Wallace threw for 3,090 yards, with 17 TDs and 9 INTs. RB Jeff Scott was slowed by injury but showed explosion out of the backfield when healthy, picking up 493 yards on 7.4 ypc, while a trio of solid WR's are led by Donte Moncrief (53 catches, 825 yards). Overall, Ole Miss had one of the better offenses in the SEC this season, scoring 30.4 ppg while racking up 473.0 ypg. Defensively, the Rebels have been able to hold their own, allowing just 24.2 points and 376.5 yards per game while creating 20 takeaways. The Rebels are 22-12 in their bowl career, including wins in nine of their last 10.
Georgia Tech plays in a bowl game for the 17th straight season and is 23-18 overall after snapping a seven-game losing streak with a 21-7 victory over USC in last year’s Sun Bowl. Georgia Tech found great success on offense this season (36.6 ppg, 440.7 ypg) thanks mostly to having the fifth-ranked rushing attack in the nation at 311.7 ypg. The Jackets have 12 guys that have rushed for at least 100 yards on the season this year, but the leader of the group is David Sims, who has run for 846 yards and 11 TD's this year. QB Vad lee has 1,414 yards, 10 TDs and nine INTs on 47.4% completion rate, but his passing plays usually go for big yards as he has a completion average of 18.4 ypp. Robert Godhigh is a major threat at receiver, catching 21 balls for 420 yards. The Yellow Jackets have a solid stop unit that finished the regular season with the fourth-best scoring defense in the ACC (22.7 ppg).
Pick: I like the Rebels allot in this one. When teams have been given time to prepare for the Triple Option of Georgia Tech they have had success vs it. Last year Tech did beat USC 21-7 in a bowl game, but still they have won just 1 of their last 8 bowl games and have been held to just 14.4 ppg in their last 5 bowl games. Teams can stop this offense with time to prepare. The Ole Miss defense is not great against the run, but better than average, ranking 54th, allowing 155 ypg on the ground for the year. The Ole Miss offense has been very good this year, ranking 23rd in yards (473.4 ypg), while scoring 30.4 ppg. Georgia Tech has been solid on defense this year, but they have struggled mightily on the road, allowing 40.8 ppg in their last 4 on the road and they did allow 41 points to SEC foe Georgia in the final game of the year and that was a bulldog offense that was without Aaron Murray. This game will be played in SEC country and I just don't see Georgia Tech coming up with enough points to keep this one close.
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