A pair of 7-5 teams square on in the Music City Bowl when the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets and Mississippi Rebels are scheduled take the field at 3:15 p.m. Eastern time on Dec. 30. Odds-makers have Mississippi favored by a field goal in what is expected to be a high-scoring game.
Quarterback Bo Wallace leads the Rebels’ pass-oriented spread offense with a 65 percent completion rate while throwing for 3,090 yards and 17 touchdowns. Receptions have been spread out somewhat evenly among three primary receivers who have combined for 164 catches and 1,965 receiving yards. The Rebels also have a potent rushing attack, which averages more than 187 yards per game.
The Mississippi defense allows just over 155 yards rushing per contest and has a good pass defense led by All-SEC defensive back Cody Prewitt. Prewitt recorded six interceptions, including one each during the final two regular season games. Mississippi posted impressive wins over non-conference foe Texas and SEC rival LSU but was shut out by Alabama 25-0.
On the other side of the ball is a very potent Georgia Tech rushing attack that features the triple option and averages more than 311 rushing yards per game. Running backs David Sims and Robert Godhigh have combined for more than 1,500 yards rushing and 17 touchdowns while quarterback Vad Lee has added some 500 yards rushing and another 8 touchdowns on the ground.
The Mississippi Rebels played against several top 10 opponents with strong rushing attacks but has a young defensive line that might be challenged by Georgia Tech’s triple option rushing attack. Georgia Tech has struggled at times against passing teams and surrendered 55 points to Clemson and 45 to Miami in losing efforts.
The Music City Bowl has been played in Nashville, Tenn., since 1998, when the bowl game first was played in Vanderbilt Stadium. The contest in 1999 was moved to its current home at LP Field, which is the home field for the NFL Tennessee Titans. The bowl’s official name is the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl and has had other sponsors. Prior sponsors have been American General Life & Accident, Homepoint.com, Bridgestone and Gaylord Hotels. Franklin American Mortgage has sponsored the Music City Bowl since 2010.
The current bowl format pits teams from the ACC and SEC conference and previously had ties to the Big 10 and Big East conferences. The Big 10 replaced the Big East in 2002 and was replaced by the ACC in 2006. The SEC has sent teams to the bowl every year the conference had enough bowl-eligible teams to do so.
Virginia Tech defeated Alabama by a score of 38-7 during the inaugural 1998 Music City Bowl when representatives from the Big East and SEC initially were contestants. Va. Tech defensive end Corey Moore was named the game’s most valuable player. Vanderbilt defeated North Carolina State by a score of 38-24 during the 2012 contest with running back Zac Stacy winning the most valuable player honor.
Kentucky has played in the most Music City Bowls and has a 2-2 record in the bowl games. The Big East as a 4-0 record in the bowl. The Big 10 has a 2-2 record and the ACC a 3-3 record. The SEC has posted a 6-8 mark.