Orange Bowl Pick

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Orange Bowl Pick

Georgia Tech


Mississippi State


Both of these times kind of came out of nowhere this season to make it to the Orange Bowl. It’s already the most successful season in Mississippi State history, while Georgia Tech has a chance to reach 11 wins for the first time since 1990. The Bulldogs are a -7 point favorite at Sun Life Stadium.

Miss. State started the season 9-0 and grabbed the No. 1 ranking for a couple weeks until their Schedule picked up and they lost two road Games at Alabama and Ole Miss in November. Despite getting all the credit, the Bulldogs actually only beat two current ranked teams, at LSU and home against Auburn.

The seven-point spread seems large for the way the Yellow Jackets finished the season. They dominated Clemson 28-6, won at Georgia in overtime and battled with Florida State in the ACC Championship Game.

The buildup to this Game will likely focus on Dak Prescott just because he was in the Heisman race, but Justin Thomas can’t be ignored on the other end.

In his first season as GT’s starting QB, Thomas has fit right into the triple-option and that showed against the Seminoles. He rushed for 104 yards and FSU didn’t really have an answer for their rushing attack. Thomas leads the Jackets with 965 rushing yards and five TDs, but he’s also been solid as a passer (for what GT asks of him) with 17 TDs and 5 INTs. The absence of top WR DeAndre Smelter wasn’t a huge factor in their last Game as Darren Waller stepped into that top receiving role. He’ll have to do the same here. Also in the backfield, Zach Laskey (788 yards, 9 TDs) and Synjyn Davis (753 yards, 6 TDs) have had solid seasons as expected in this offense.

The Bulldogs defense allowed less than 20 points per Game on the season, but those numbers are a bit diluted for non-Conference Games as well as the 51-0 blowout of Vanderbilt. The defense has been stout, but did get kind of shown up by Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl.

Georgia Tech’s defense isn’t outstanding and had some bad Games (48 points allowed in loss to UNC), but they came through at the end of the season and you can’t really fault them for struggling against Jameis Winston and Florida State.

The problem is that Dak Prescott and the Bulldogs probably have as good of offense as the Seminoles. Prescott jumped onto the scene this season destroying last year’s numbers. While he wasn’t in Heisman discussions at the end of the year, he still received some votes.

Prescott does most of his damage on the ground with 939 yards and 13 TDs, but he’s been better passing the ball this year which is why this offense has improved. Prescott has another 24 TDs and 10 INTs through the air and spreads the ball plenty, with De’Runnya Wilson (575 yards, 7 TDs) being his favorite target. But the running Game is this offense’s main threat. In addition to Prescott, Josh Robinson is having a great season averaging 6.4 YPC for 1,128 yards and 11 TDs. The problem is that he hasn’t surpassed 64 yards in five straight Games. When they won some of their bigger contests, Robinson went for 100-plus yards and a couple touchdowns in each of them. He’s an important part to this offense.

Georgia Tech has seemingly been able to Scoreon everyone this season which should make this a higher-scoring Game as they probably won’t be able to stop Prescott and company on the other end.

The Bulldogs are 9-3 ATS vs. a team with a winning record and have covered Four straight following a straight-up loss. The Yellow Jackets are 1-4 ATS in their last five vs. the SEC and 1-6 ATS in their last seven bowl Games, but have covered five straight against a team with a winning record.