Capital One Orange Bowl Mississippi State vs.Georgia Tech - 5 Things to Know
The Orange Bowl matchup between Georgia Tech and Mississippi State features teams that traveled in opposite directions down the stretch of the college football season.
The Bulldogs were the darlings of the national media and the pollsters until they unraveled at the end, wiping away national title aspirations and a chance for Dak Prescott to bring home a Heisman Trophy.
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets brought the triple-threat offense back to life and made it en vogue again. The ACC team showed it could score in bunches and manage the clock en route to conference title game where it lost to FSU.
Both teams have something to prove and both teams have offensive weapons which could make this a scoring fiesta.
Here are five things to know about this game.
It has been played annually since January 1, 1935 and celebrated its 75th playing on January 1, 2009. The Orange Bowl, along with the Sugar Bowl and the Sun Bowl, are the second-oldest bowl games in the country, behind the Rose Bowl (first played 1902, played annually since 1916). The Orange Bowl was a member of the now-defunct Bowl Championship Series (BCS).
The Orange Bowl hosted the BCS National Championship Game in 2001 and 2005. However, since the 2006 season, the BCS National Championship Game has been a stand-alone event, hosted by the local bowl organization one week following the New Year's Day bowl games (including the Orange Bowl).
In other words, under the current BCS format, the Orange Bowl Committee hosted two games in 2009: the 2009 Orange Bowl on January 1 and the 2009 BCS National Championship Game on January 8, both at Sun Life Stadium.
HIGH SCORING AFFAIR
Watch as both these teams march up and down the field.
Mississippi State eclipsed 50 points exactly once this season in a November 22 contest against Vanderbilt. In that game, Prescott was on fire, passing for three touchdowns and rushing for another, while the Bulldogs accumulated six offensive touchdowns. There's a possibility they'll do it again when they face Georgia Tech.
The Yellow Jackets haven't given up 50 points this season, but they did give up 48 in a loss to North Carolina. The Tar Heels put on a Bulldogs-like performance in that game, as quarterback Marquise Williams passed for four touchdowns and rushed for another, as the team accumulated seven offensive touchdowns.
COULD BE A LONG DAY FOR PRESCOTT
The one thing Dak Prescott has down lately that he did not do in the beginning of the season is he has become sloppy with the football.
Prescott has recently struggled against better secondaries, tossing two picks against Auburn, two against Arkansas and three against Alabama.
With eight interceptions in his last seven games, Prescott's ability to protect the ball has declined. Considering he's thrown multiple interceptions in three games this year, it doesn't appear as though he bounces back quickly from errors. This is something Georgia Tech will be able to exploit.
The Yellow Jackets will look to make Prescott commit to the pass and flood the pocket to keep him behind the line of scrimmage.
The Yellow Jackets have accumulated 17 interceptions in 13 games this season and rank tied for 16th in the nation in takeaways.
Look for Tech to commit to the pass rush early and often.
I just get the feeling the triple-threat will be too much. The Orange Bowl has been the sight of some of the best college bowl games of late. This could be the same kind of contest. In the end, the SEC has trouble stopping the ACC team on the ground.
GEORGIA TECH 35 MISSISSIPPI STATE 31