2016 TaxSlayer Bowl

The triple option attack of Georgia Tech will take on SEC opponent Kentucky in the 2016 TaxSlayer Bowl.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

The Yellow Jackets had a tremendous bounce back season going 8-4. Their losses were all to bowl eligible ACC teams. They had solid wins over Boston College, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech and rival Georgia.

TaxSlayer Bowl

Justin Thomas (Photo courtesy: yellowjackedup.com)

Quarterback Justin Thomas has been manning the option attack for what seems like forever now. He does have 1,454 passing yards, eight touchdowns and two interceptions. Thomas also rushed for 562 yards and five rushing touchdowns. He is the best operator of the triple option in college football.

Clinton Lynch is likely the target when Thomas throws the ball. He has 490 receiving yards at 30.6 yards per catch, making him great at big plays. Lynch also has six of Thomas’ eight touchdown passes.

Marcus Marshall and and Dedrick Mills are the ones who get the most carries out of the triple option attack. Marshall has 624 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Mills finished the regular season with 602 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns.

Georgia Tech has an average rush defense that allows 174 yards per game on the ground. The pass defense is also average, giving up 234 yards per game.

The strength of the defense is the interior of the defensive line, with both Francis Kallon and Patrick Gamble having good years.

Kentucky Wildcats

The Wildcats’ season looked like it was going to be bleak, but Mark Stoops did a tremendous coaching job to get the team to 7-5. They didn’t have any bad losses, as their only defeats came at the hands of bowl teams. They have good wins over South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State and rival Louisville.

TaxSlayer Bowl

Stanley “Boom” Williams

Stephen Johnson took over the quarterback position for an injured Drew Barker. He wasn’t the most efficient, but the team started to play up to its potential when he took over. He threw for 1,862 yards and 12 touchdowns with six interceptions. Johnson added 278 yards rushing and two touchdowns.

Jeff Badet and Garrett “Juice” Johnson have been the best receivers for Kentucky. Badet leads in yardage with 639 yards, while Johnson leads in touchdowns with five. Both have a knack for making big plays, but Badet is a little better at 22 yards per reception.

Running the ball is what Kentucky does best. Behind a good offensive line, the Wildcats have two running backs who have reached 1,000 yards. Stanley “Boom” Williams has 1,135 rushing yards and seven touchdowns as the home run-hitting back. Benny Snell is the power back who has rushed for 1,057 yards and 13 touchdowns.

The defense for Kentucky was called one of the worst in the history of college football by ESPN’s Lee Corso. The Wildcats rebounded nicely and has an above average pass defense at 215 yards allowed per game. The run defense is bad at 225 yards given up per game, but they are by no means the worst defense in history.

Linebacker Jordan Jones has really improved this year and has 70 solo tackles.

Prediction

Kentucky’s offensive line will win the game. They are going to control the line of scrimmage, the ball and the clock, which is rare versus a triple option team.

 

Kentucky Wildcats 35 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 31

 

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Xavier University graduate who majored in sports management. I am a passionate sports fan who tries to follow just about every sport there is.

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