Georgia Tech Football: 2014 Orange Bowl Preview and Analysis


Georgia Tech plans to follow up their dominating double-digit win season, by defeating one of the hottest squads in college football this season, the No.7 Mississippi State Bulldogs.

The No.12 Yellow Jackets fought hard down the stretch of the season, clinching a berth into the ACC Championship, where they lost to the undefeated Florida State Seminoles, 37-35.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets /

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Thanks to the Seminoles finishing undefeated, and clinching a berth into college football’s inaugural four-team playoff, Georgia Tech was chosen to represent the ACC in this year’s Orange Bowl.

Mississippi State faded a bit down the stretch, falling from being the top ranked team in the nation because of losses to Alabama and Ole Miss to earning a spot in the Orange Bowl.

This doesn’t discount the fact that Mississippi State remains a very dangerous team, their loss to Alabama was by only five points, and this could be the final game for some of their top players, including quarterback phenom Dak Prescott.

Georgia Tech’s offense is strong enough to keep “Hail State’s” defense honest, the big problem for the Yellow Jackets in this match up is the Bulldogs offense.

Georgia Tech’s defense has struggled throughout the season, and aside from the Seminoles, this is the toughest offense they have faced this season.  Prescott is a well-balanced, dual-threat quarterback, who will keep Georgia Tech’s suspect defense on their heels throughout this game.

Keys To Victory:

Georgia Tech faces the huge task of figuring out how to slow down the Bulldogs offense.  They also face a harder task of defeating the Bulldogs defense, which is stronger and faster at nearly every position.

Georgia Tech’s defense must be aggressive on the field, but not commit too many errors.  They must find a way to slow down the Bulldogs rushing game, and force Mississippi State to win this game in the air. The Bulldogs run game has been very effective this season, so shutting down their rushing attack is a must for the Yellow Jackets.

Establish the flexbone right away.  The faster Paul Johnson and Georgia Tech can establish their ground game, the quicker the field will open for the passing game.

Mississippi State has defended the run well this season, and since their own offense is similar to Georgia Tech’s, they enter the game with an advantage.

If Georgia Tech cannot establish their ground game early on, it will force them to rely on the passing game, which gives Mississippi State another advantage, since they have a very productive secondary.


Georgia Tech had a good run this season, and they are on pace to become a National Championship dark horse next season.

Unfortunately, they are playing this season’s National Title dark horse, and a team that outranks them at every position.  Georgia Tech will need to play a perfect game to secure an Orange Bowl victory.

They are playing a well-balanced SEC powerhouse, and Georgia Tech’s defense will get overpowered in this match up.

Mississippi State 34
Georgia Tech 17