Capital One Bowl preview

January, 1, 2009
1/01/09
9:45
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Lost amid the Big Ten bowl bashing is the league's four-game win streak against the SEC in the Capital One Bowl, considered by many to be the most prestigious non-BCS postseason contest. It's up to No. 18 Michigan State to continue the trend today against No. 15 Georgia (ABC, 1 p.m. ET).

Here's a look at the matchup.

WHO TO WATCH: Arguably no player in the country meant more to his team this season than Michigan State senior running back Javon Ringer, the nation's third-leading rusher. Without Ringer's steady production, particularly in the first half of the season, Michigan State wouldn't be playing on New Year's Day. Georgia has struggled to stop the run all season but will load up against Ringer, daring Spartans quarterback Brian Hoyer to win the game.

WHAT TO WATCH: Michigan State's defense has contained comparable opponents but collapsed against elite offenses this season. It's time for the Spartans to step up. Georgia boasts future NFL players at all the skill positions and could overwhelm Michigan State. But Pat Narduzzi's unit is as healthy as it has been all season, and if the front four put pressure on Matthew Stafford, an upset is possible.

WHY TO WATCH: No bowl game features a better matchup of running backs, as Ringer squares off against Georgia's Knowshon Moreno. The Doak Walker Award finalists have combined for 2,928 rushing yards and 37 touchdowns this season. Ringer's strength and incredible durability (nation-high 370 carries) has sparked Michigan State, while Moreno is the most exciting back in the country.

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