Monday, December 27, 2010
AdvoCare v100 Independence Bowl: Air Force (8-4) vs. Georgia Tech (6-6)
By Andrea Adelson
Air Force takes on Georgia Tech in the AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl in a game featuring the two top rushing teams in the country. Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson used to be at Navy, but he and Air Force coach Troy Calhoun only coached against each other just once when Johnson was with the Midshipmen. There is not much familiarity between the coaches, but there should be familiarity of the offenses. Here is a quick preview:
WHO TO WATCH: Air Force quarterback Tim Jefferson. The Falcons had such a successful season and were able to win the Commander-In-Chief Trophy for the first time since 2002 because of Jefferson. His 769 yards rushing are the most by an Air Force quarterback since Chance Harridge had 914 in 2003. His team- and conference-best 15 rushing touchdowns are the most by an Air Force quarterback since Harridge set a then-NCAA record with 22 in 2002. Not to be outdone, he threw for a career-high 1,342 yards this season and ranks 11th in school history for single-season total offense with 2,111 yards. He’s only a junior, too.
WHAT TO WATCH: Option vs. option. Air Force runs a version of the triple-option and so does Georgia Tech, but the Falcons have gotten a chance to play against other similar option-style teams this season in Navy and Army. Georgia Tech essentially has only seen it during practice. So it will be interesting to see how the Yellow Jackets combat an offense very similar to their own. Georgia Tech has struggled against the run this season, giving up nearly 170 yards on the ground per game. That's not a good sign when playing the No. 2 rushing offense in the country.
WHY WATCH: Don’t you want to know who is the best rushing offense in the land? This game will settle that debate once and for all. OK, maybe not once and for all, but for the 2010 season at least.
PREDICTION: Air Force 27, Georgia Tech 17. With Joshua Nesbitt likely not playing in this game for Georgia Tech, the advantage goes to the Falcons. The Yellow Jackets go into this game having lost four of their last five, and are 1-2 without Nesbitt as the starter.