Music City Bowl pits Mississippi vs. Georgia Tech

The Mississippi Rebels will finish the season in the same place

where they started back in August.

The Rebels will play Georgia Tech in the Music City Bowl on Dec.

30 in a pairing announced Sunday night. Ole Miss opened the season

beating Vanderbilt a couple miles from LP Field, home of the bowl

game. Now the Rebels are back in this bowl for the second time.

”We have one of the great bowl traditions in all of college

football, and I’m excited that we have earned a bowl berth in each

of our first two seasons,” Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said. ”I

appreciate the unbelievable support Rebel Nation has provided our

team, and I look forward to seeing a sea of Red and Blue in

Nashville.”

Ole Miss (7-5) finished on a two-game skid that dropped the

Rebels out of the Top 25 rankings. The Rebels played in the BBVA

Compass Bowl last season.

This will be the 35th bowl appearance all-time by Ole Miss. The

Rebels are 22-12, including last season when Ole Miss beat

Pittsburgh 38-17 at the BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham, Ala., to

cap Freeze’s first season.

The last time Ole Miss played in the Music City Bowl, David

Cutcliffe was the coach and Eli Manning was the Rebels’

quarterback. That’s the only bowl the Rebels have lost over the

past 10 bowl trips going back to the 1992 Liberty Bowl.

Ole Miss lost 49-38 to West Virginia in their first Music City

Bowl. These Rebels have plenty of Tennessee connections starting at

quarterback in Bo Wallace, a native of Giles County, and a running

back in I’Tavius Mathers from nearby Murfreesboro.

Rebels athletic director Ross Bjork said Ole Miss has 126,000

alumni within a day’s drive. Added to the Rebels’ season opening

win over Vanderbilt, he said Nashville is a stronghold for Ole

Miss.

”We know our fans will continue our stellar reputation of

supporting our team and filling up LP Field,” Bjork said. ”Last

year was Lock the Legion and now we have the Music City

Encore.”

Georgia Tech (7-5) will be making its first appearance in the

bowl sponsored by Franklin American Mortgage as the Atlantic Coast

Conference’s representative. This is the Yellow Jackets’ 17th

straight bowl berth, tied for the second longest streak nationally,

and 42nd overall. They went to the Sun Bowl the past two seasons

and beat Southern California 21-7 last year.

”Ole Miss is a very talented football team and they are

well-coached, so we certainly have our work cut out for us,”

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson said. ”It should be an

entertaining football game.”

This will be the first game between these teams since 1971 when

Ole Miss beat the Yellow Jackets 41-18 in the Peach Bowl. Georgia

Tech won the other two games in this series in 1956 and at the 1953

Sugar Bowl, the last capping an undefeated season.

Georgia Tech has never played at LP Field, home to the NFL’s

Tennessee Titans, and the Yellow Jackets last played in Nashville

in 2009.

AP Sports Writers David Brandt in Mississippi and Paul Newberry

in Georgia contributed to this report.