There’s nothing more electrifying than bringing in the New Year in the beautiful city of Miami. Well, there “is” one thing, and that’s winning the 2014 Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens just moments before the clock strikes midnight.
That’s exactly what No. 7 Mississippi State Bulldogs (10-2, 6-2 SEC) and No. 12 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (10-3, 6-2 ACC) are looking forward to as they prepare to face off in the historic Capital One Orange Bowl. Unfortunately, only one can enjoy such a moment – the other, well, not so much.
Tech head coach Paul Johnson and the Yellow Jackets will be counting on their running game to put away the Bulldogs. Their 10 wins for the season were a direct result of running the triple-option offense right down the throats of the defense. They have the third-most rushing offense in the nation. Tech averages 333.6 rushing yards per game.
Now, MSU has a strong defense that should be able to counter Tech’s repetitive rushing attack. However, the team has been known to play atrociously, as Bulldogs coach Dan Mullen so eloquently put it after their defense gave up 444 yards in their loss to Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl.
Another downside for the Bulldogs’ defense is that the unit hasn’t played against a triple-option offense this season. The last time it faced such an offensive scheme was back in 2009, which resulted in a 42-31 rout by the hands of – you guessed it – the Yellow Jackets. As a matter of fact, Georgia Tech has won the last four meetings between the two.
On a brighter note, the Bulldogs do have their offense to fall back on. Similar to the Yellow Jackets, they too solely rely on the rushing attack as their offensive failsafe. QB Dak Prescott and RB Josh Robinson are both noted for their tremendous rushing ability, which will definitely help their chance of success.
It should be a fairly even matchup on New Year’s Eve. I anticipate a very exciting game with scoring fluency. By the time the clock strikes midnight and the New Year begins, MSU will have somehow managed to pull off a win at the Orange Bowl in the beautiful city of Miami.
Prediction: Mississippi State 42 – Georgia Tech 38