Georgia Tech and Ole Miss were founding members of the SEC. Despite being in the same conference for nearly 30 years, the two will meet for only the fourth time ever Monday when they face off in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl (3:15 p.m. ET, ESPN).
Here’s a quick preview of the game:
Who to watch: Ole Miss is a team on the rise with all of its star freshmen making noise this season, but Monday’s game will center around junior quarterback Bo Wallace. He has had his share of ups and downs this season, but he’ll look to finish his season on a high note after committing four turnovers in a loss to Mississippi State to close out the regular season. Wallace, who hails from Pulaski, Tenn., will be returning to the state he grew up in. For Georgia Tech, it’s all about the triple option and a pair of senior running backs, David Sims and Robert Godhigh. Sims leads the team with 846 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns, while Godhigh is averaging 10.1 yards per carry. The Yellow Jackets’ defense features defensive end Jeremiah Attaochu, one of the nation’s top pass rushers. He recorded a career-high four sacks against Georgia his last time out, and he’s just one sack away from setting the school’s all-time record (32).
What to watch: Each team finished the regular season on a sour note. Ole Miss couldn’t overcome a number of costly turnovers against Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl, and Georgia Tech blew a 20-0 lead to rival Georgia at home. Monday’s bowl game will serve as a shot at redemption for both teams. The key matchup will be how the Rebels match up against Georgia Tech’s triple-option offense. The Yellow Jackets average 36.6 points per game and are among the nation’s leaders with 311.7 yards per game on the ground but will face a young, athletic defense in Ole Miss. The Rebels will have had an extra month to prepare for the option attack, but they still have to stay disciplined and play sound football.
Why to watch: Ole Miss kicked off the season in Nashville with a thrilling victory over Vanderbilt. Now that the Rebels are headed back to the Music City, what do they have in store for an encore? If it’s anything like the season opener, it will be worth tuning in. The game could also provide a little insight in the VIZIO BCS National Championship game. It’s one of the few ACC-SEC matchups of the bowl season and could serve as a preview of next Monday’s Auburn-Florida State showdown. Will the SEC notch a win in its first bowl game, or will Georgia Tech spoil the party and make it back-to-back bowl victories?
Prediction: Ole Miss 31, Georgia Tech 24