Georgia Tech and Ole Miss came into the Music City Bowl with trips to the end zone on both of their first drives. It seemed like it was going to be a shootout between the two teams, with Bo Wallace using his arm and legs to take advantage of the Yellow Jacket secondary, and the Rebels struggling to stop an impressive Tech triple-option.
Ole Miss received the ball first and drove down the field where Bo Wallace scrambled for 17 yards up the middle to get the first touchdown of the game.
Georgia Tech responded with a strong drive of their own, that Robert Godhigh capped off with an eight yard touchdown run of his own.
But the shot-for-shot game quickly game to a close and the Rebels took over the majority of the game to win 25-17.
The scoring narrative lasted for just the first two drives before each team seemed to settle in defensively. After four punts in a row, Wallace took advantage of some good field position and threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Donte Moncrief in the second quarter. From that point, until the fourth quarter, Ole Miss owned the game and shut down Georgia Tech’s offense.
The Rebels held Georgia Tech to just 151 rushing yards while picking up 221 yards on the ground themselves. Without the running game to support him, Vad Lee visibly struggling throwing the ball and he also continued to turn the ball over, fumbling in the third quarter and throwing a pick.
Lee finished the game with 147 passing yards on 5/17 passing. He also ran for just 24 yards on 16 attempts.
The lone bright spot for Georgia Tech was Robert Godhigh, who picked up 50 yards on just 10 carries for the Jackets as well as 51 yards on two receptions. Like the entire regular season, Godhigh proved to be explosive when the Jackets gave him the ball… but he was limited by the amount touches he actually received.
For Ole Miss, Bo Wallace was fantastic under center, proving to be a threat with his arm (which wasn’t 100%) and his legs. Wallace ran for two touchdowns and 86 yards on 13 carries. He also threw for 256 yards on 22/32 passing, with a touchdown and an interception.
In the fourth quarter, the Jackets had a great chance to turn the game around after blocking an Ole Miss field goal attempt, but Paul Johnson called for a reverse play right in front of his end zone. Of course, the play blew up and Corey Dennis wound up losing the ball in his own end zone.
Georgia Tech got one last shot with 47 seconds and down by eight at the end of the fourth quarter, but Lee came in and threw the ball straight to the other team on his first play of the drive. Unfortunately that’s pretty standard stuff from Lee.
It seemed like the Jackets were playing catch-up the entire game. With their long period of time to prepare for the triple-option, the Rebel defense was quickly able to get into a rhythm and shut down the running game almost entirely. Without that, the Jackets had nothing going for them, and weren’t able to overcome Bo Wallace and Old Miss.
I’ll be putting up my quarter-by-quarter notes in a few minutes if you care to take a glance at that.