Come Bowl With Me, Part I: Chick-fil-A Bowl—Georgia Tech-LSU

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Come Bowl With Me, Part I: Chick-fil-A Bowl—Georgia Tech-LSU

Chick-fil-A Bowl
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.

 

LSU

Strengths

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

 

Weaknesses

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

 

Keys

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

 

Georgia Tech

Strengths

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

 

Weaknesses

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

 

Keys

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

 

X-Factor

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.

 

Prediction

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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