By Will Martin
Ole Miss Rebels vs Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Monday – December 30 – 2:15 PM
LP Field – Nashville
Football can be a streaky thing in the pros and collegiate. The 2013 participants for this game I used to remember as the Liberty Bowl features the Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech (7-5, 3-5 SEC) and the Rebels of Ole Miss (7-5, 5-3 SEC).
Anytime you have an SEC matchup you have the guarantee of a physical and grind out kind of game.
Ole Miss will try to win a 6th consecutive bowl game while trying to win a 5th consecutive game for second year Rebel coach Hugh Freeze. The streak began back on October 19th when Ole Miss knocked off #6 ranked LSU.
Georgia Tech makes its first visit to the Music City Bowl. It is also the 17th straight season the Yellow Jackets appear in a bowl game. Oddly enough in last years 21-7 win over USC it snapped a six game bowl losing streak in the Sun Bowl.
Jacket coach Paul Johnson can certainly appreciate close proximity to being at home.
“To play a bowl game within driving distance for our fans, and to play against a high-quality opponent in Ole Miss, is a great opportunity,” coach Paul Johnson said. “Ole Miss is a very talented football team and they are well-coached, so we certainly have our work cut out for us.”
Ole Miss was last in Nashville back in year 2000 but Rebel Coach Hugh Freeze knows his fans travel equally well.
“I appreciate the unbelievable support Rebel Nation has provided our team, and I look forward to seeing a sea of Red and Blue in Nashville,” said Freeze, whose program plays its home games four hours away.”
In addition to winning five straight bowl games (including a 38-17 win over the Panthers in last year’s Compass Bowl) Ole Miss sports a 9-1 record in their last ten bowl visits.
If the Rebels have any chance to extend their win streak in the postseason they’ll have to be able to counter with the Jackets usage of the triple option offense. Good for a #6 ranking and a 311 yards per game average. The Rebels have allowed 188 yards a game so this could prove to be a challenge.
David Sims also has a chance to surpass 1,000 yards in a season for a Yellow Jacket team for the first time since 2010 at the tailback position. Sims sits at 846 yards and 11 touchdowns scored in 2013. Georgia Tech averages about 37 points per game.
Bo Wallace comes into the game for Ole Miss having tossed four of his season nine interceptions in his last two starts. Wallace for the season tossed 17 touchdowns and 3,090 yards (2nd in the SEC).
If the Rebels are to have success on Georgia Tech look for Bo Wallace to connect early and often with Laquon Treadwell. The SEC Freshman Of The Year who collected five touchdowns on 67 receptions and 557 yards.
Even though Georgia Tech ranked second to last in the pass, defensive end Jeremiah Attoachu could add to his 31 sacks (a school best) in pursuit of Bo Wallace. Ten of his last 12 sacks were made in his last five games. It could make for a long day for the Rebel Nation!
With 45 rushing touchdowns by the Yellow Jackets in 2013 this game screams blowout. My gut instincts say that Ole Miss keeps the triple option to a single issue and Team Freeze produces a couple of ill-advised turnovers.
I’ll take Ole Miss 31-26 in an upset. Someone will have a streak in continuance…