Come Bowl With Me, Part I: Chick-fil-A Bowl—Georgia Tech-LSU
December 31, 2008
Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia
Louisiana State University vs. Georgia Institute of Technology
The first stop on my short but exciting bowl tour will be the Chick-fil-A Bowl on Dec. 31 in Atlanta.
This matchup especially excites me as I anticipate attending the game.
A team from Georgia is playing in their home state, and this promises the atmosphere of the city will be intensely anxious. Also, LSU fans travel well and the team loves to play at the Georgia Dome—they're 6-1.
Here's a quick look at strengths, weaknesses, and keys to victory for each team.
Defense allows only 32.1 percent of third-down conversions
Allow only 3.3 yards per carry
Score TD on 73 percent of Red Zone trips
4-0 all-time record in the Peach/Chick-fil-A Bowl
18 interceptions thrown and only took away seven on defense
Allowed second-most points per game in the SEC
Coming off consecutive losses
Minimal return threat
Make Georgia Tech throw the ball by stopping the run and getting them in third-and-longs
Keep GT out of the Red Zone—they haven't hit a 40-yard FG all year
Watch out for Morgan Burnett—this sophomore safety does everything for the Yellow Jackets on defense
Be smart with the football—the more they have it, the less their defense gets pounded by a great running game
Good pressure on QB; 33 sacks in 12 games—these sacks come from everywhere; no player has more than seven
Third-ranked rushing game in the nation—Jonathan Dwyer has 1,398 yards on only 190 carries and has added 12 TD
Allow only 18.8 points per game
12-6 all-time head-to-head record against LSU
One-dimensional on offense; it's all about the run
Fewer than 100 yards per game through the air
Poor kicking game—11 of 19 on Field Goals
Second-fewest first downs per game in the Atlantic Coast Conference
Do what they do well—run the ball
Get pressure on the quarterback and then look for the interception—LSU gives it up
Start the game strong to help carry momentum from recent big wins
Matchup to Watch
Obviously, the GT running game against a good LSU run defense
ACC Coach of the Year Paul Johnson
With all four of GT's final four regular season games against Top 25 teams, Johnson led the Yellow Jackets to three gritty wins and a No. 14 ranking in the nation.
GT 26, LSU 23
Georgia Tech is hot right now, and I'll give them the nod with the third-ranked rushing game in the nation. Also, LSU has a -4 turnover margin to GT's +5.
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