The No. 10 Yellow Jackets versus the No.8 Mississippi State Bulldogs is a very intriguing matchup at face value. MSN sports took it a step further by ranking the Orange Bowl matchup as the fifth best bowl game to watch during the bowl season.
Why wouldn’t this game be one of the “Top Five” most intriguing matchups? When you break this game down there are some attention grabbing storylines and subplots.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
The QB matchup alone is going to be epic.
Justin Thomas vs Dak Prescott is going to be fun to watch for many reasons. These were two of the most efficient and dynamic quarterbacks in the nation.
Thomas had a solid all-around year at QB completing 50% of his passes for 1,460 yards with 16 touchdowns and four interceptions while rushing for 861 yards and five touchdowns. All of Thomas’ work led to him finishing eighth in total QBR nationally at 79.3.
Prescott was not to shabby either finishing 11th in total QBR at 78.2.
He finished eighth in the Heisman Trophy voting after hitting on 61% of his passes for 2,987 yards with 24 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He also rushed for 939 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Both Thomas and Prescott are quarterbacks who led two of the Top 25 offenses in the nation. Georgia Tech was 22nd in the country averaging 469 yards per contest and Mississippi State was ninth in the country averaging 506 yards per contest.
Another intriguing matchup is the front seven of Mississippi State vs the offensive line of Georgia Tech.
Shaq Mason and company are going to have their hands full opening up holes against a defense that yielded 126.5 yards per game, which was 25th best in the country.
Georgia Tech has been able to run the ball on everybody racking up 333.6 yards per game this season which ranked second in the country.
So there is an “unstoppable force vs immovable object” element to this game.
It will be interesting to see if Tech can figure out a way to run the rock on a stout SEC East defense.
Then you can’t forget about the SEC vs ACC dynamic. That seems to be a big deal around this part of the counry for some reason.
The Orange Bowl will be played December 31st at 8PM on ESPN.