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Music City

Bowl Pick

Ole Miss

vs.

Georgia Tech

12/30/13

Everyone says the SEC is easily the best conference in the nation, but that isn't always the case come bowl season. If Mississippi wants to represent its conference well, it will have to take out Georgia Tech. Both teams sit at 7-5 with an even matchup presented. As expected, the Rebels have received a lot of the money as -3 point favorites in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl. In fact the betting trends at sportsbook.com show 76% of the action has come in on Ole Miss.
 
 Outside of their final loss to Mississippi State, the Rebels had a mildly successful season, losing their four other games to teams currently in the Top 21. A win over No. 16 LSU highlights their season, along with road wins at Vanderbilt and Texas early in the year.
 
 After starting the season with wins over Duke and North Carolina, the Yellow Jackets were in for another ACC title hopeful season. Then came three straight losses and their hopes were dashed. GT didn't have as tough of schedule as Ole Miss, but they actually beat more bowl teams, having four wins against such schools compared to only three for the Rebels. Tech gave everything in their final game against SEC's Georgia, but it wasn't enough losing in two overtimes.
 
 The main thing to look for in this game is Georgia Tech's triple-option offense. They average over 300 rushing yards per game and will be facing a defense that has given up 195 rushing yards or more in five games this season. David Sims (846 yards) and Robert Godhigh (694 yards) get the most touches outside of quarterback Vad Lee (489 rushing yards). Those three and Zach Laskey have combined for 32 rushing TDs this season. Vad Lee doesn't pass unless needed and it shows with his 47 completion percentage to go with 10 TDs and nine INTs. The most passing yards Lee had all season came against Georgia, throwing for 232 yards and two TDs.
 
 If Georgia Tech's defense can stay strong and keep this game close, Lee and company will be running the ball as much as possible. Looking at the numbers, there's no telling if Ole Miss can stop the option.
 
 The Yellow Jackets have been carved up on the defensive end by better opponents, but they have had some solid games. The Rebels don't present a great offense with mediocre passing and rushing games. GT defensive end Jeremiah Attaochu will be hyped plenty in this game as he's second in the nation with 12 sacks.
 
 Rebels quarterback Bo Wallace improved slightly from a year ago, but still has trouble leading his team to win big games. Granted they beat LSU, but he couldn't do anything in their losses. In the final two games of the year, Wallace had zero touchdowns and four interceptions. While inconsistent, Wallace should be able to move the ball against a weak pass defense. Donte Moncrief (825 yards) leads the receiving core and often goes deep, but Ja'Mes Logan and Laquon Treadwell are solid options as well. The Rebels don't have a standout back this year due to injuries, but they do average over 180 yards per game, although a lot of that is due to running on easy opponents. Jeff Scott should be healthy and he'll likely be the top RB in this game.
 
 It's pretty simple for the Rebels, stop the triple option and beat the Yellow Jackets. Easier said than done though, as Ole Miss aims for its 10th bowl win in 11 tries.
 
 The Rebels are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five neutral site games, but 1-4 ATS in their last five games on grass. The Yellow Jackets are 1-4 ATS in their last five vs. the SEC and 1-5 ATS in their last six bowl games.

We went back and forth on this one as far as whether or not to play this game. We considered using Georgia Tech right up until game day and almost made them a 1* play and at one time considered a regular 3* play.

Sometimes, you make a play because of your gut, and sometimes you pass a game because of your gut. The numbers support a play on Georgia Tech here and that is backed by our model. All of which basically suggest this game is a toss up, making +3 the only way to go.

But Ole Miss is the more battle tested of the two. They lost 5 games but other than their loss to Alabama, they were in every loss, unlike Georgia Tech who had 3 double digit losses AND blew a 20 point lead to Georgia.

Ole Miss came within a TD of Auburn, who is playing for a Title, and they BEAT LSU, who, by the way, beat Auburn this year. So the numbers say Georgia Tech but the gut says Tech can't be trusted and Ole Miss is the better team, having played better againt quality opposition. Always prefer the SEC over the ACC as well.

Opinion only and based strictly on the numbers - Georgia Tech +3

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