New Years (Game) Day: SEC looking to go 3-0 against Big Ten


The SEC is now 1-1 in bowl games, thanks to Clemson’s upset against LSU last night in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

However, there are three games on tap today in the SEC:

Gator Bowl: Mississippi State vs. Northwestern

Game Time: 12:00 PM ET
Current Line: Northwestern -1

Additional reading on the Gator Bowl:

Game Buzz: Mississippi State is trying to rekindle their early season magic that saw them start 7-0, but they are losers of four of the last five games to finish the regular season, including the Egg Bowl loss. Northwestern presents an option offensive attack, and the Bulldogs were pushed around on the defensive line and throttled against spread teams down the stretch. Dan Mullen is trying to win his third bowl game in four years at State.

Keys for Miss State:

  • Create nice balance on offense – running and throwing.
  • QB Tyler Russell must get comfortable early in the passing game with his five different WRs.
  • MSU has to be tougher in the trenches, because bigger offensive lines pushed them around, and they lacked an overall toughness to close out the season.

Capital One Bowl: Georgia vs. Nebraska

Game Time: 1:00 PM ET
Current Line: Georgia -10

Additional reading for Capital One Bowl:

Game Buzz: The two losers of their conference championship games go to battle today in Orlando. The question is which Georgia team will show up – the one that went toe-to-toe with Bama, or the one that was throttled by South Carolina earlier in the year and was beaten in their last two bowl games? Georgia clearly has more talent, but it comes down to whether Georgia has a want-to attitude this game, or whether all the potential NFL players want to make sure they don’t get injured before the draft, because Nebraska won’t lay down for any team. There’s added motivation for the Huskers, too, since UGA does hail from the SEC.

Keys for Georgia:

  • Get RB Todd Gurley going from the start, because Nebraska’s weakness is run defense.
  • After the running game has started to make an impact, QB Aaron Murray should mix in play action and burn the Husker’s tough pass defense.
  • Replicate the Florida game plan on defense to stop a running quarterback and tougher running game.

Outback Bowl: South Carolina vs. Michigan

Game Time: 1:00 PM ET
Current Line: South Carolina -6

Additional reading for Outback Bowl:

Game Buzz: This is a classic SEC vs. Big Ten game with two worthy competitors with stingy defenses. South Carolina is in the midst of a Golden Age of Gamecock football, and they are shooting for 11 wins in back-to-back seasons. Steve Spurrier continues coaching at an elite level, hauling in elite prospects to Columbia. Michigan’s defense is tough, and their two-quarterback offense could provide the Gamecocks with some challenges on defense. Seeing Jadeveon Clowney chase Denard Robinson all around the yard in Tampa will be fun to watch.

Keys for South Carolina:

  • Get off to a fast start, something we saw against Georgia earlier in the season.
  • Limit turnovers: Michigan can’t beat you unless you turn the ball over on offense.
  • Win on special teams – Ace Sanders and company can make impact plays on returns.
Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports



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