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Georgia Tech (2-1) vs. Mississippi State (1-2)
by Akshay Amaraneni, Assistant Sports Editor
The last time the Jackets played Mississippi State they were coming off a national championship in the “wrong-way” Riegels Rose Bowl. In 1929, the Jackets would defeat Mississippi State on October 5.
Unfortunately Tech, who was a perfect 10-0 the previous season, would finish 3-6 that year.
The Jackets, who played at Virginia Tech last weekend, are coming home for their first game at Bobby Dodd Stadium since August 28.
Tech, trying to rebound from their first loss under Paul Johnson, will face the Bulldogs for the third time ever.
In 1909, the Jackets, under John Heisman, went 6-3 with one of their wins coming against the Bulldogs, 23-0. In 1929, the Jackets won 27-13 under William Alexander. Both games were at Grant Field.
The Jackets rank high in rushing stats as expected. Tech leads the ACC in rushing and is ninth in the nation averaging 263 yards per game.
The Jackets are just starting to get comfortable in this new offense. While Head Coach Paul Johnson held back using the triple option play in the first two games, Virginia Tech saw it a lot and Mississippi State may also see it.
The Bulldogs’ season has not started out as well as they would have liked. State opened the year with a loss to former-Jacket Taylor Bennett and Louisiana Tech.
After a blow-out win over South East Louisiana, State reverted to a poor offense and scored zero points against Auburn. Their only points came on a safety when Auburn was called for holding in their end zone. Despite that, the Bulldogs still only lost by a point on an Auburn field goal.
The Bulldogs are led on offense by sophomore quarterback Wesley Carroll. Carroll did not start until the seventh game of the season, but led the team to their first winning record and bowl-birth since 2000.
State’s defense held the Golden Knights of UCF, Conference USA champions, to just three points and won by a touchdown in the 2007 Liberty Bowl.
The Bulldogs’ secondary ranks 16 in pass defense and 20 in total defense and they have only allowed one meaningful touchdown all year. That came early against Louisiana Tech in State’s first game.
Unfortunately, their offense has a hard time keeping up. Their passing attack is ranked No. 93, while their overall offense is just No. 103 in the nation.