Present Iteration: Hyundai Sun Bowl
Past Iterations: Brut Sun Bowl, Vitalis Sun Bowl, Wells Fargo Sun Bowl, Norwest Sun Bowl, Sun Bowl, John Hancock Bowl, John Hancock Sun Bowl
Toasting Town: El Paso, Texas
Combatants: Georgia Tech (8-4) vs. Utah (7-5)
This game is not on ESPN. Not sure if our sports overlords will acknowledge its existence.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets [SRS 46]
Best Wins: Clemson (27), North Carolina (44), North Carolina St. (66)
Losses: Georgia (16), Virginia Tech (26), Miami (41), Virginia (68)
Famous Alum: Jeff Foxworthy
The Yellow Jackets finished No. 6 overall in yards per play. Though, that was largely due to a buoyant September against Western Carolina, Middle Tennessee and Kansas. Georgia Tech came back to earth in October (No. 78 in yards per play) before improving slightly in Novermber (No. 28 in yards per play). Worrisome for Georgia Tech is their run defense (No. 80 nationally at 4.53 yards per carry). Utah’s plan will be to run straight at Georgia Tech. They might not have the front to match up with that.
Utah Utes [SRS 40]
Best Wins: BYU (42), Pittsburgh (50), Arizona (61)
Losses: USC (10), Arizona State (25), California (30), Washington (49), Colorado (95)
Famous Alum: Mills Lane
Utah weren’t overmatched in their first BCS-conference season, mostly because the Pac 12 South was terrible. The Utes had a Top 20 yards per play defense, but their offense, following Jordan Wynn’s injury, was abysmal. Norm Chow’s solution was to give it to running back John White early and often (290 carries, 1,404 yards, 14 TD). Kyle Whittingham has experience against the triple option, going 5-1 against Air Force since taking over as Utah coach. Though, unlike Air Force, Georgia Tech runs that system with scholarship athletes.
Key: Stop John White. Utah won every game White hit the century mark rushing (7-0) and lost every game he did not (0-5). If that outlet is shut, Utah can’t score.
For Recreational Purposes: Utah (-2)
[Photo via Getty]