December 30, 2013

Music City Bowl: Ole Miss vs. Georgia Tech

Music City Bowl Matchup: Ole Miss Rebels vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Date/Time: December 30th, 3:15 ET

Television: ESPN

Music City Bowl Odds from WagerWeb

Point Spread: Ole Miss -3

Total: 56.5

The Ole Miss Rebels and all of their young freshman players are going to get a taste of what the bowl season is like when they take on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the 2013 Music City Bowl in Nashville.

The Rebs were a lot better than your average 7-5 team this year. Four of their five losses came against teams which are still ranked in the Top 15 in the country, and the other loss was in the Egg Bowl against the Mississippi State Bulldogs. Still, Head Coach Hugh Freeze has done an excellent job with this club. There aren’t any truly remarkable numbers, but in totality, this team is flat out awesome. QB Bo Wallace, still only a sophomore, threw for 3,090 yards and 17 TDs this season, while QB Barry Brunetti, running mostly the Wildcat, threw for six scores and no picks. No rusher had more than 506 yards, but three had at least 469 yards and both quarterbacks had at least 269 yards and four TDs to boot. It was really the defense, in the teeth of one of the toughest schedules in the nation, which allowed just 376.5 yards and 24.2 points per game which was truly impressive. In the ACC, we have a feeling that the Rebels would have won at least nine or 10 games.

That’s why we aren’t all that much for the Yellow Jackets and their prospects in this one. They have been beaten in seven of their last eight bowl games, and the one exception was last year at the Sun Bowl when they were beaten by the USC Trojans, who clearly just didn’t care in the game. Head Coach Paul Johnson and his triple option haven’t had a lot of success in bowl games, knowing that the team has averaged just 14.4 points per game in its last five bowl games since 2008. The good news for the Ramblin’ Wreck is that they are used to playing in bowl games, as they haven’t missed out on a bowl since 1996. There were some respectable wins this season against teams like the Syracuse Orange (56-0, mind you) and the Pitt Panthers. The 38-14 win over the Duke Blue Devils, though we didn’t know it at the time, turned out to be the best victory of the season for the Jackets. They also lost to the Clemson Tigers by 24, the BYU Cougars by 18, the Miami Hurricanes by 15, and both the Virginia Tech Hokies and Georgia Bulldogs by seven. That doesn’t give a lot of hope for winning this one.

The Jackets have failed to cover six straight games against teams with winning records. Meanwhile, Ole Miss has a good history of playing in bowls for sure, having won five bowl games in a row, going 4-0-1 ATS in those five games. The team is also 9-1 in its last 10 bowls since 1992 and 11-2 in its last 13 bowl games since the 1986 Independence Bowl.

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Adam Markowitz

is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.

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