2012 Hyundai Sun - Georgia Tech 21, USC 7

Posted Dec 31, 2012

2012-2013 Bowls - CFN's Preview & Prediction for the 2012 Hyundai Sun

2012 Hyundai Sun

Georgia Tech 21, USC 7

- 2012-2013 CFN Bowl Central
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National Rankings
32nd Total Offense 29th
53rd Total Defense 63rd
34th Scoring Offense 35th
77th Scoring Defense 45th
4th Rushing Offense 66th
46th Run Defense 59th
115th Passing Offense 26th
67th  Passing Defense 68th
45th Turnover Margin 69th
Position Rankings
relative to each other
5 Highest - 1 Lowest
G   SC
3.5 Quarterbacks 3.5
4 RBs 4
2 Receivers 5
4 O Line 3.5
3 D Line 4
3 Linebackers 4
2.5 Secondary 3
3.5 Spec Teams 3
4 Coaching 4
EL PASO, Texas (AP) - Tevin Washington threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score to lead the Yellow Jackets to a 21-7 victory on Monday in front of a crowd of 47,922 at Sun Bowl Stadium.

Washington's 1-yard touchdown run in the third made it 14-7, and he found Orwin Smith for a 17-yard touchdown pass in the fourth.

Barkley, the first three-time captain in team history, injured his right shoulder in a loss to UCLA and was not cleared to play. He clapped as the Trojans (7-6) took the field to face the Yellow Jackets.

Max Wittek tossed a 9-yard touchdown pass to Silas Redd in the second quarter, but also threw three interceptions. Redd also had 88 yards rushing on 17 carries.

The Trojans struggled to contain Georgia Tech's triple-option attack. The Yellow Jackets (7-7) rushed for 294 yards on 63 carries while stopping a seven-bowl losing streak.

David Sims had 99 yards on 17 carries, but he got plenty of help. Zach Laskey added 60 yards on six carries, Lee had 52 on 10 carries and Washington had 16 attempts for 46 yards for the No. 4 rushing team in the nation.

Sims also caught a 3-yard touchdown pass from Vad Lee in the first quarter.

Lee and Washington combined to go just 5-for-10 passing, but two completions went for TDs passes and two more covered 26 and 49 yards and keyed two of the team's scoring drives.

High-powered USC finished with 10 first downs and eight punts as Georgia Tech shut down the Trojans' big-play threats all afternoon.

Wittek had four passes deflected at the line. His second interception came in the Tech end zone with 6:22 to go and the last came inside the Tech 10-yard line in the game's final minute. He was 14 for 37 for 107 yards.

USC (7-5) vs. Georgia Tech (6-7)
Dec. 31, 2:00, CBS

Here's The Deal … Hopefully the swag bag is overstuffed in El Paso. Both of these teams will be looking for a reason to smile.

No matter how it's spun, neither USC nor Georgia Tech is particularly overjoyed about finishing the year in the Sun Bowl. It happens. For the Trojans, a trip to West Texas, rather than Miami or Pasadena, is evidence of just how badly things went for the program in 2012. From No. 1 in the preseason AP Poll to four losses in the final five games, Troy was arguably college football's biggest disappointment of the year. Save for returning to the postseason for the first time since 2009, none of USC's goals were met. No national championship chase. No Pac-12 title. No Heisman for QB Matt Barkley, who will not suit up for this game.

For Lane Kiffin and his staff, El Paso will be all about getting a head start on 2013. The school was ineligible for bowl games the past two years, losing out on an opportunity for 15 valuable practices and 60 minutes of contact. With no way to salvage this season, the Trojans will gear up for the next one, getting a good look at as many young players as possible. The upcoming campaign will be a critical one for Kiffin, and he won't waste a moment preparing for it.

The Yellow Jackets have qualified for a 16th bowl game in a row, the fourth longest streak in the country, but it didn't happen without a special provision.

Tech needed a waiver to qualify for the second season after slipping below .500 with a loss to Florida State in the ACC Championship Game. Heck, even the team's appearance in Charlotte against the ‘Noles was questionable, the result of North Carolina and Miami being ineligible. Still, evening the record and defeating a nationally-known opponent are goals for which this team will fight. Consistency has eluded the Yellow Jackets all season long, as have bowl wins under Paul Johnson. The coach is 0-for-4 in bowl games since arriving on the Flats in 2008.

Players to Watch: Barkley won't play, but he may not be the only Trojan offensive star that's unavailable on Monday.

All-American WR Marqise Lee tweaked his knee in practice on Saturday, and is now a question mark for the game. If he can't go, USC will lean a little harder on Robert Woods, a star in his own right, while giving the start to speedy rookie Nelson Agholor. Woods took a backseat to Lee all year, but enters the game with 32 career touchdown catches, and will decide shortly after the final gun is this will be his final game as an amateur. A shaky Georgia Tech pass defense would not mind at all if Lee winds up being a scratch.

All eyes in this one will be on No. 13, Max Wittek, the likely successor to Barkley behind center.

The redshirt freshman started the regular season finale against Notre Dame, showing flashes of his big arm and enormous upside potential. For him, the Sun Bowl represents a golden opportunity to gobble up valuable snaps, while getting a jump on the competition, namely classmate Cody Kessler, for next year. Wittek will need to pay particular attention to Jeremiah Attaochu, the linebacker with the rush skills of an end. If he can get around the vulnerable Troy tackles, Wittek will be prone to making mistakes with his throws.

USC will be using a freshman at quarterback. So, too, might Georgia Tech.

The Yellow Jackets will start senior Tevin Washington, but expect young Vad Lee to get on the field occasionally as well. He provided a spark late in the year with his legs and his arm. Johnson will stick with the hot hand, or whoever can unlock the potential of the nation's fourth-ranked running game. Tech's backfield is predictably deep, with powerful David Sims and long-ball threat Orwin Smith likely to get the most touches.

This is it for Monte Kiffin, his final game calling the defense for USC.

It's been a rough couple of years for Lane's dad, who announced at the end of the regular season that he'd be resigning at the conclusion of the bowl game. He's famously struggled to stop spread offenses, but how about the option? Washington and Lee will be less dangerous on play-action now that top WR Jeff Greene has opted to transfer. The Trojans should have enough speed and range in the back seven to fill lanes and prevent yards after contact. S T.J. McDonald and sophomore linebackers Dion Bailey, Hayes Pullard and Lamar Dawson should be able to inch up without paying the price.

USC will win if … its head is in the game for four quarters.

The Sun Bowl will be all about motivation. If the Trojans have it, they'll be fine. Even without Barkley, and possibly Lee, USC will enjoy an edge in talent over Georgia Tech on both sides of the ball. However, if it plays like a sulking team with its head back in California, the Yellow Jackets will make them pay. It'll be essential for Kiffin's team to start fast, build some momentum and expunge those bad habits from the regular season. RB Silas Redd can be a particularly important cog for the Trojans if he's able to pick up chunk yards on the ground, and absorb some of the pressure from Wittek.

Georgia Tech will win if … it dominates time of possession.

The Jackets want to do more than simply run the ball with success; they want to wear down USC with long, time-consuming drives. Depth has been an issue for the Trojans all season long, and even a month off hasn't solved the problem. Tech believes it has more at stake in the Sun Bowl, a chance to get back to .500 with a win over a top-shelf opponent. The longer it stays in this game, the tougher it'll be to put the team away. For the Yellow Jackets, this game will be won or lost in the second half. If they can methodically gas USC, the upset will be in play in El Paso.

What Will Happen: Anything will be possible in a game involving two teams with questionable psyches.

Who shows up? And can they sustain the energy from wire-to-wire? With a better collection of talent and time to prepare for the Georgia Tech offense, USC will prevail to finish the season on a high note. Kiffin needs it and so do his players. With more time to prep than he had in November, Wittek will shine in the passing game, getting the ball to Woods and TE Xavier Grimble. While the Yellow Jackets will pile up the rushing statistics, their end zone struggles from November will continue.

CFN Prediction: USC 38 … Georgia Tech 24
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) USC -7 O/U: 62

Sun Bowl History
2011 Utah 30, Georgia Tech 27 OT
2010 Notre Dame 33, Miami 17
2009 Oklahoma 31, Stanford 27
2008 Oregon State 3, Pitt 0
2007 Oregon 56, South Florida 21
2006 Oregon State 39, Missouri 38
2005 UCLA 50, Northwestern 38
2004 Arizona State 27, Purdue 23
2003 Minnesota 31, Oregon 30
2002 Purdue 34, Washington 24
2001 Washington St 33, Purdue 27
2000 Wisconsin 21, UCLA 20
1999 Oregon 24, Minnesota 20
1998 TCU 28, USC 19
1997 Arizona State 17, Iowa 7
1996 Stanford 38, Michigan St 0
1995 Iowa 38, Washington 18
1994 Texas 35, North Carolina 31
1993 Oklahoma 41, Texas Tech 10
1992 Baylor 20, Arizona 15
1991 UCLA 6, Illinois 3
1990 Michigan State 17, USC 16
1989 Pitt 31 Texas A&M 28
1988 Alabama 29, Army 28
1987 Oklahoma State 35, West Virginia 33
1986 Alabama 28, Washington 6
1985 Arizona 13, Georgia 13
1984 Maryland 28, Tennessee 27
1983 Alabama 28, SMU 7
1982 North Carolina 26, Texas 10
1981 Oklahoma 40, Houston 14
1980 Nebraska 31, Mississippi State 17
1979 Washington 14, Texas 7
1978 Texas 42, Maryland 0
1977 (Dec.) Stanford 24, LSU 14
1977 (Jan.) Texas A&M 37, Florida 14
1975 Pitt 33, Kansas 19
1974 Mississippi State 26, North Carolina 24
1973 Missouri 34, Auburn 17
1972 North Carolina 32, Texas Tech 28
1971 LSU 33, Iowa State 15
1970 Georgia Tech 17, Texas Tech 9
1969 Nebraska 45, Georgia 6
1968 Auburn 34, Arizona 10
1967 UTEP 14, Mississippi 7
1966 Wyoming 28, Florida State 20
1965 UTEP 13, TCU 12
1964 Georgia 7, Texas Tech 0
1963 Oregon 21, SMU 14
1962 West Texas A&M 15, Ohio 14
1961 Villanova 17, Wichita State 9
1960 New Mexico State 20, Utah State 13
1959 New Mexico State 28, North Texas 8
1958 (Dec.) Wyoming 14, Hardin-Simmons 6
1958 (Jan.) Louisville 34, Drake 20
1957 George Wash 13, UTEP 0
1956 Wyoming 21, Texas Tech 14
1955 UTEP 47, Florida State 20
1954 UTEP 37, Southern Miss 14
1953 Pacific 26, Southern Miss 7
1952 Texas Tech 25, Pacific 14
1951 West Texas A&M 14, Cincinnati 13
1950 UTEP 33, Georgetown 20
1949 West Virginia 21, UTEP 12
1948 Miami-Ohio 13, Texas Tech 12
1947 Cincinnati 18, Virginia Tech 16
1946 New Mexico 34, Denver 24
1945 Southwestern (TX) 35, New Mexico 0
1944 Southwestern (TX) 7, New Mexico 0
1943 Second Air Force 13, Hardin-Simmons 7
1942 Tulsa 6, Texas Tech 0
1941 Case Reserve 26, Arizona St 13
1940 Arizona State 0, Catholic 0
1939 Utah 26, New Mexico 0
1938 West Virginia 7, Texas Tech 6
1937 Hardin-Simmons 34, UTEP 6
1936 Hardin-Simmons 14, New Mexico State 14