For the first time in school history, Mississippi State reached No. 1 in the AP Poll. The Bulldogs (10-2, 6-2 SEC) were also the No. 1 team in the inaugural College Football Playoff rankings.
But as they say, all good things must come to an end.
And when those good things came to an end, thanks to 2 losses in the final 3 games, Mississippi State found itself on the outside looking in. At least the No. 7 Bulldogs will be looking in from Miami, where they face 12th-ranked Georgia Tech (10-3, 6-2 ACC) in the Orange Bowl.
Tech shook off a mid-season slump to win 5 of its last 6 games. Paul Johnson hasn’t had much bowl success with the Yellow Jackets, though, going just 1-5.
Dan Mullen has brought MSU to 5-straight bowl games, winning 3.
No. 7 Mississippi State (10-2) vs. No. 12 Georgia Tech (10-3), Orange Bowl
Wednesday, 8 p.m. Eastern
Sun Life Stadium – Miami, Florida
Announcers: Brent Musberger (play-by-play), Jesse Palmer (analysis), Maria Taylor (sidelines)
Mississippi State (-7). Line provided by bovada.lv
Georgia Tech leads 4-0
Last Year’s Orange Bowl:
Clemson 40, Ohio State 35
Mississippi State Highlights
Georgia Tech Highlights
Georgia Tech brings the 2nd-best rushing attack into the game, averaging a cool 333.6 yards. Mississippi State has one of the better rush defenses out there, giving up 126.5 per game, good for 25th in the FBS. But the ‘Dogs don’t see the triple-option all that often in the SEC.
I know Tech isn’t known for its passing, but QB Justin Thomas knows how to take advantage when presented the opportunity. He’s thrown 17 touchdowns on just 89 completions. That’s like schoolyard or Madden numbers. Just thought I’d mention it. Though Miss State clamped down pretty well on opposing passers.
State QB Dak Prescott was in the Heisman talk for much of the season as he accounted for 37 touchdowns (24 passing). Running back Josh Robinson faded down the stretch, but expect him to see an uptick in carries against an average-at-best GT rush D.
The junior Prescott could be playing his last game for MSU as he filed paperwork to receive an NFL Draft grade. So expect him to have a little extra motivation. The Bulldogs were the No. 1 team in the country for 5 weeks. They want to remind us all of that.