Hyundai Sun Bowl Pick – December 31st
It has been quite a ride for Georgia Tech this season with a 2-4 straight-up record to start the year and a three-game winning streak followed by two losses to close it out. The Yellow Jackets ended the season with a losing record of 6-7 SU but still qualified for a bowl with six wins. They went 8-5 against the spread with the total staying UNDER in their last three games.
The one thing that was consistent this season for Georgia Tech was a punishing ground game that averaged 312.5 yards a game which was the fourth-highest total in the nation. Quarterback Tevin Washington only threw for 1,173 yards and seven touchdowns this season, but he piled-up another 638 yards and 19 touchdowns on the ground. While the offense did manage to score an average of 34.5 points a game, the Yellow Jackets’ defense gave-up close to 30 points a game to their opponents.
This could be called the Disappointment Bowl for a USC team that was touted as a national title contender before the season started. Instead, the Trojans stumbled and bumbled their way to a 7-5 SU record overall and a very pedestrian 5-4 record in Pac-12 play. They ended the season a very costly 3-9 ATS and the total went OVER in three of the final five games.
The good news for USC is that quarterback Matt Barkley should be back in the starting lineup for this game after missing the regular season finale against No.1 Notre Dame with a shoulder injury. While he came nowhere close to living up the preseason Heisman hype, he still threw for 3,273 yards and 36 touchdowns. The Trojans averaged 34.2 points a game while giving-up an average of 24.6 points on defense.
USC should be able to win this game with ease, but you have to question the team’s mindset coming into a mid-level bowl that is far below its original expectations. Despite the huge letdown, the Trojans should still find a way to win this game, but stick with Georgia Tech to keep it close enough to cover. USC 34 Georgia Tech 27