Orange Bowl Capsule
No. 10 Georgia Tech (10-3, 6-2 ACC) vs. No. 8 Mississippi State (10-2, 6-2 SEC), Wednesday 8 p.m. EST (ESPN)
Line: Mississippi State by 7
Series Record: Georgia Tech leads 4-0
WHAT'S AT STAKE
Mississippi State is looking for the first 11-win season in school history, a major rallying cry for the team that spent much of the season in position for a spot in the inaugural College Football Playoff. Georgia Tech is also looking for an 11-win season that would basically assure the ACC runners-up of finishing in the Top 10 of the national polls.
Georgia Tech QB Justin Thomas vs. Mississippi State DE Preston Smith. Thomas is obviously a two-way threat in Georgia Tech's triple option offense. Smith is almost certainly going to get put on the ground by Tech's offensive line, and how fast he gets back up in an effort to thwart plays is critical.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Georgia Tech: RB Synjyn Days scored three touchdowns in the ACC championship game against Florida State, and if has another big night in a big game, Tech's chances will soar. ... LB P.J. Davis has been a breakout player in 2014 for the Yellow Jackets, with more than 100 tackles and evolving into a true leader.
Mississippi State: RB Josh Robinson has run for 1,128 yards and rarely gets caught on a negative play. ... QB Dak Prescott is on the cusp of becoming the first Mississippi State player with 3,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards in a season. ... DT Kaleb Eulls will start his 52nd straight game, almost unheard of in the college game.
FACTS & FIGURES
Mississippi State will feel right at home, in the sense that the Orange Bowl has approved the use of cowbells by Bulldogs fans in the stadium on game night. ... It's a homecoming for Georgia Tech football spokesman Chris Yandle, who went to Atlanta earlier this year after working in the same role at Miami, which also calls Sun Life Stadium home. ... Mississippi State is 24-4 in nonconference games under coach Dan Mullen. ... Georgia Tech is the first ACC school to play four consecutive ranked opponents since Miami in 2009.