7-5 (4-4), 3rd Atlantic Coast - Coastal
8-4 (6-2), 3rd Western Athletic
December 31 2:00 pm, ESPN2
Georgia Tech will have to wait till after this game for the Paul Johnson era to start, and already many receivers are concerned that he will not need them if Johnson brings the triple option offense with him. Both teams have won the last time they played in this bowl game. Fresno State comes into the game playing in their 8th bowl game in 9 years, winning 3 of their last 4 regular season games but to win against the Yellow Jackets their offense will have to protect their QB because Tech averages 4 sacks per game.
The Bulldog offense is as balanced as you can get it, averaging 202 yards on the ground and through the air. Tom Brandstater had an average year throwing for 2369 yards, 14 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions. On the ground, Fresno State is led by Ryan Mathews and Lonyae Miller, both of which have missed time this year because of injuries. If Fresno State has a weakness on defense, it is against the run. The Bulldogs give up around 180 yards per game on the ground, and that isn't a good sign when you are going against a back like Tashard Choice.
The Yellow Jackets are in flux, between coaches, but they still boast one of the best defenses in the land. They are 12th against the run, 32nd against the pass, and 11th overall. On an average, Georgia Tech gives up only 19 points per game. Yards and points are a premium against the Yellow Jackets. On offense their strength is running the ball with Tashard Choice. In 11 games, Choice has run for 1310 yards with 10 touchdowns. Taylor Bennett had a coming out party in last year's bowl game, but cooled off after the loss of Calvin Johnson to the NFL. Bennett threw 3 more interceptions than touchdowns, and must protect the ball if Georgia Tech wants to win.
Smash mouth football is the name of the game when you come and play the 2007 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. I think the Bulldogs are going to be in for a world of hurting and right now it isn't shaping up too good for the Western Athletic Conference. With Boise State and Nevada losing; Fresno State and Hawaii must pick up the slack. The Bulldogs just do not have the line play to stop the Yellow Jackets and they will have a hard time gaining any yards against their tough defense. Georgia Tech 24 Fresno State 10
Picking Georgia Tech to Win
ITB Brian Sakowski, Rizzo Sports, Sportsbone TV, MidWest Coast Bias, ITB Ron Juckett, Football Frontier, Bastard Sons of Pinfall Marks, The LSC Scoop, Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician, Greg Gowins, Richard Dixon, Brian Isaacson, Logan Jaffe, Brant Chruscial, Dan Schoonover, Lou Nemec, Mrs Corn Nation, Matt Kieta, Timmy B, Cyril Tircuit, Rodney Polston
Picking Fresno State to Win
MizzouRAH, Kansas It's Business Time, Pitch Right, ITB Charlie Swager, The Enlightened Spartan, Corn Nation, Jeff Brancolini, Sunny Verma, Lorena The Dodgerchick, Pete Boivin, Jason Stiver