The Georgia Tech offense presents three options, but really there is only one — run the football. The Yellow Jackets spend about 80 percent of their play balance on the ground, and with standout wide receiver DeAndre Smelter out for the year, they could be chewing up turf in greater proportion against the Mississippi State Bulldogs.
Mississippi State is the second SEC opponent for the Yellow Jackets. This second version of Bulldogs, however, boasts the nation’s No. 25 rush defense. This rush defense upheld these numbers against arguably the best conference division in the country, and the undisputed elite in terms of physicality, the SEC West.
Georgia Tech will look to punish Mississippi State with speed, deception and repetition while impartially sharing carries between Justin Thomas, Zach Laskey and Synjyn Days, all of whom are within striking distance of 1,000 rushing yards on the year.
To make things grittier, Mississippi State enjoys smashing the football through front-sevens as well. Running back Josh Robinson and quarterback Dak Prescott are two punishing ball-carriers — Prescott weighing in at 235, Robinson 215 — who have run the ball well for the Bulldogs (Prescott – 939 yards, Robinson – 1128).
If you long for how college football used to be, then tune in for this game. Georgia Tech and Mississippi State average a combined 67 carries a game, and this number could balloon in the Orange Bowl, as both teams will be attempting to keep the other off the field.
The weather should be ironically picturesque in Miami on the Dec. 31, aside from the continuous rolling of thunder.