Georgia Tech loses Music City 25-17 to Ole Miss
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets started the Music City Bowl just
as they wanted, running on 11 of their 14 plays as they finished
the drive with a touchdown.
Then Mississippi essentially shut down their triple-option
offense from there and handed Georgia Tech yet another bowl loss
”We never got in sync on offense at all,” Georgia Tech coach
Paul Johnson said. ”Never really got into any kind of rhythm. It
was just kind of haphazard. We hit some plays here and there, but
nothing to gain any consistency.”
Robert Godhigh ran for an 8-yard touchdown, and Vad Lee
connected with Darren Waller on a 72-yard TD pass as the Yellow
Jackets (7-6) tried to rally late. But the nation’s fourth-best
rushing offense that came in averaging 311.7 yards a game managed
just 151 yards and was outgained 477-298 in total offense.
Ole Miss quarterback Bo Wallace outrushed Lee 86-24 by
”They played about every kind of defense known to man,”
Johnson said of how the Rebels stopped Lee. ”They were just
popping gaps and lining up, and we were really just tossing the
Georgia Tech (7-6) now has lost eight of its last nine
Ole Miss (8-5) has won six straight bowls and 10 of the last 11
in making up for the lone loss in that stretch in the 2000 Music
City Bowl. The Rebels came in tied with Auburn and Florida State,
who play Jan. 6 for the BCS national championship, for the nation’s
longest bowl winning streak.
”I didn’t want to screw that up today,” Ole Miss coach Hugh
Freeze said. ”So I’m glad to win two bowl games in our first two
years. With what we inherited, I think says we’re heading in the
right direction for sure. It is a very positive step.”
The Yellow Jackets had other issues in the game.
Johnson said he shouldn’t have given punter Sean Poole the
option to run on a fake punt that ended with Poole tripping up 2
yards shy of the line of scrimmage at midfield. They also had a
chance to finish off a 10-point rally in the fourth quarter after
Adam Gotsis blocked a 32-yard field goal attempt, giving Georgia
Tech the ball with 4:36 left.
But an attempted reverse play with receiver Corey Dennis trying
to throw turned into a safety when he fumbled, and Ray Beno covered
the ball up in the end zone.
”We’d been waiting for a series-and-a-half to get the ball in
the middle of the field because I knew it was going to work,”
Johnson said. ”They made a play, and we didn’t. If it worked,
you’d be calling me a genius.”
Ole Miss finally punted back to Georgia Tech with 37 seconds
left. Senquez Golson intercepted Lee on the next play to seal the
victory for the Rebels in the bowl, sponsored by Franklin American
”We were playing in spurts and really couldn’t finish,” Lee
said. ”That’s been the thing the whole year. I feel like we were
moving the ball and were doing some good things, but we just didn’t
With a month to prepare, Ole Miss came up with some new
defensive looks for Georgia Tech.
”That’s why it’s so difficult to play them probably in a short
amount of time,” Freeze said. ”You’re going to be forced to play
some of your base stuff. We were able to get some different stuff
Harrison Butker capped a 64-yard drive with a 38-yard field goal
in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter, then D.J. White
intercepted a Bo Wallace pass intended for Donte Moncrief. On the
next play, Lee found Waller for a 72-yard catch-and-run for a TD
with 13:25 left.
”That was big,” Lee said. ”The game was slow to that point
and it kind of got everybody out of their seats, got our fans into
it, got the sideline going and it was huge. It was definitely a
confidence builder. The next drive we wanted to score and we were
moving the ball well, but something happened.”
Wallace finished running for two touchdowns and throwing for
another and finished with 256 yards passing. The native of Pulaski,
Tenn., was named the bowl’s MVP.