The Norman Transcript

December 31, 2013

Jackets run out of steam

Associated Press
The Associated Press

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.

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.

Navy 24, Middle Tennessee St. 6: FORT WORTH, Texas — Keenan Reynolds ran for two more touchdowns and Navy won for only the second time its last seven bowl games, beating Middle Tennessee State 24-6 in the Armed Forces Bowl on Monday.

Reynolds had a 3-yard score to cap the opening drive for Navy (9-4), and added a 1-yarder in the fourth quarter. Already with the NCAA record for touchdowns rushing by a quarterback, Reynolds upped his total to 31 to match Colorado State running back Kapri Bibbs, also a sophomore, for the national lead this season.

Middle Tennessee (8-5) was held to a season-low for points. The Blue Raiders finished the regular season with a five-game winning streak, averaging nearly 43 points a game in that stretch.

The Midshipmen overcame two fumbles inside the 20 by Reynolds, their first turnovers in six games, and won their fifth straight game.

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