Chick-fil-A Bowl: Georgia Tech (9-3) vs. LSU (7-5)

December, 8, 2008
12/08/08
1:24
AM ET

Dec. 31, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)

LSU take by SEC blogger Chris Low: LSU was one of a handful of SEC teams that closed the regular season with a whimper. The defending national champion Tigers lost three of their last four games and gave up more than 30 points in each of their final three games.

It was a far cry from the defensive standard the 2007 national championship team set, and coach Les Miles is apparently going to shake up his staff a bit.

The Tigers (7-5) just never found any rhythm. They struggled at quarterback, where redshirt freshman Jarrett Lee threw seven interceptions that were returned for touchdowns. They struggled to make any game-changing plays on defense. They were the first consensus national champion since Ohio State in 1943 to follow their national title with a losing conference record.

It's still a team that's capable and a team with several players on its roster that will go on to play in the NFL.

They will need to play that way in the Dec. 31 Chick-fil-A Bowl matchup against a Georgia Tech team that's red-hot. The Yellow Jackets (9-3) run a version of the triple-option that gives defenses fits, especially when you're not used to seeing it. Running back Jonathan Dwyer is the main cog with 1,328 yards and 12 touchdowns.


Georgia Tech take by ACC blogger Heather Dinich: The bowl officials in Atlanta rewarded Georgia Tech for an outstanding season in Paul Johnson's first year as head coach. While they didn't play for the ACC title this season, the Yellow Jackets were arguably the hottest team in the league a week ago after their win over rival Georgia. LSU finished its season with back-to-back losses for the first time since 2002, and doesn't much resemble the 2007 national champs.

It takes a disciplined defense to stop Johnson's triple option offense, and LSU was No. 11 in the SEC in scoring defense. Georgia Tech was one of the more complete teams in the ACC this season, as it was productive on both sides of the ball. The Jackets, led by Jonathan Dwyer, led the ACC with 282.3 rushing yards per game, but also proved capable of throwing the ball if they need to. Safety Morgan Burnett led the nation in interceptions, and the veteran defensive line is comprised of players who are all likely to go onto successful careers in the NFL. The Tigers are 4-0 in this bowl game, but Georgia Tech leads the series 12-6.

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