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December 31, 2013

Jackets run out of steam

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — 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 Monday 25-17.

“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 himself.

“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 ball.”

Georgia Tech (7-6) now has lost eight of its last nine bowls.

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.

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