If there is one thing that should not be a concern going into the Orange Bowl, it should be the preparation of the Yellow Jackets defense as they get ready to face Mississippi State running back Josh Robinson.
Robinson was the Bulldogs leading rusher in 2014 carrying the rock 177 times for 1,128 yards (6.4 yards per carry) and 11 touchdowns.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
He also caught 28 balls out of the backfield for 370 yards and a touchdown.
Though Dak Prescott had his name on the marquee when it came to MSU football, Robinson, for people in the know, was equally as important to the Bulldogs’ fortune.
Come New Year’s Eve, the Yellow Jackets are going to make a concerted effort to n0t let the Bulldogs’ running back eat up yards on their defense.
In fact, the Yellow Jackets should truly make it mindset not to let Josh Robinson see daylight all game.
Why should that be the mission? In a word — redemption!
The Yellow Jacket lost in the ACC Championship by a mere two points and a huge reason for that was Florida State running back Dalvin Cook and the 31 carries for 177 yards he amassed.
Georgia Tech had been getting better against the run as the season progressed.
Teams might have gotten their yards early in the game however Ted Roof would make an adjustment or two, and the run game for the opposition would be slowed down by the second half.
The main players who have done well in run defense have been Paul Davis, KeShun Freeman, Adam Gotsis, Quayshawn Nealy and Isaiah Johnson.
Roof’s adjustments seemed to involve creating ways for these guys to ether make tackles against backs, or have these guys cut off gaps so others could make tackles.
The last two games for Georgia Tech’s defense have been against some pretty physical offensive lines however.
Sep 13, 2014; Mobile, AL, USA; Mississippi State Bulldogs running back Josh Robinson (13) carries the ball against the South Alabama Jaguars in the third quarter at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mississippi State defeated South Alabama, 35-3. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports
Georgia was able to rack up 194 yards on the ground with Nick Chubb collecting 125 yards of that in the game, and we already mentioned the damage Florida State did and in particular Dalvin Cook.
This is where the proverbial “battle in the trenches” phrase gets uttered. Mississippi State’s offensive line is big and physical.
As a team, MSU was able to run for 239.8 yards per contest which ranked 20th in the nation. They got some big 300-pounders across that o-line also.
This battle in the trenches is going to be nothing new for the Georgia Tech’s undersized defense line. They have had this situation every week and performed admirably.
When we sum all of this up, this is the matchup that is going to be critical in determining who is going to win the Orange Bowl.
In the only two loses that Mississippi State had this season, Robinson was held to 37 yards against Alabama and 44 yards against Ole Miss respectively.
Just seems like holding Robinson in-check and Bulldog losses go hand-in-hand.
Finding a way to stop Dak Prescott is an issue in itself, but shutting down Josh Robinson can be the main ingredient that gets Georgia Tech an Orange Bowl victory.