The 2012-2013 Bowl Blitz Invitational presented by STAT BOX STORIES continues with the Hyundai Sun Bowl, which matches up the USC Trojans (7-5, 5-4 Pac-12) and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (6-7, 5-3 ACC). Community member baseballplyrmvp from The Gaming Tailgate took control of the Trojans as they return to the Bowl Season after years of ineligibility, looking to add a postseason victory after a disappointing season.
USC stymies Yellow Jackets’ Option Attack, wins Sun Bowl 24-14 in return to postseason
El Paso, T.X – It was not the Bowl Game that USC Trojans players, coaches, and fans imagined they’d be playing in when this college football season began, but the end of NCAA sanctions against the team allowed the Trojans to leave their mark in El Paso, Texas, on their way to a 24-14 Sun Bowl win over Georgia Tech.
The game started off heavily in the Trojans’ favor, as the team built up a 17-0 halftime lead on the strength of a 31-yard field goal and a 29-yard pass from QB #7 to TE #82 in the first quarter and a 32-yard run from HB #25 in the second. Against an Option team like Georgia Tech, such an early hole is difficult to overcome via their traditional offensive play-calling, forcing the Yellow Jackets to pass much more than they were used to.
USC nearly put the game out of reach at 24-0 when they drove to the 11-yard-line of the Yellow Jackets early in the third quarter. However, a pass from QB #7 was picked off by CB #14 of Georgia Tech and returned 97 yards for the team’s first score of the game. The score was one of the few bright spots for the designated home team, as on USC’s next possession they drove back down the field and scored on HB #25’s second rushing touchdown of the game, extending the lead to 24-7 and essentially ending the competitive portion of the Sun Bowl.
Georgia Tech did manage to score an offensive touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 5-yard pass from QB #12 to WR #88, but by that point the score served merely to create the illusion of a closer result to cloud the reality of how one-sided the game truly was.
In the end, the game played about as expected, considering the winning team wanting to put to rest years of frustration of postseason ineligibility, taking on a team which needed a special exemption granted from the NCAA to even qualify for the postseason with their record.
Player of the Game: USC HB #25, who carried the ball 24 times for 111 yards and two touchdowns for the game, including a long rush of 32 yards.
It was over when… USC HB #25 ran it in for a touchdown late in the third quarter. This score put the Trojans up 24-7 with only three minutes left to play in that quarter.
Game Ball goes to… Georgia Tech CB #14, who showed one of few signs of life on the Yellow Jackets defense when he took an interception 97 yards to the end zone to not only keep USC off the board for their drive, but also put his team’s first points up for the game.
Stat of the Game: 6. That’s the total number of times Georgia Tech QB #13 was sacked for the game, giving the Yellow Jackets little hope of doing much on offense with the Trojans defense living in the backfield for much of the contest.
Statistical Tidbits: Despite being a primarily Triple Option offense, the Yellow Jackets actually had fewer rushing attempts (23) than USC (31), due in large part to the early deficit they faced and needing to turn to the passing game early on. Georgia Tech QB #13 had a solid game with 14 completions on 15 attempts, but he only threw for 138 yards and the lone “miss” was an interception. … The Trojans outgained the Yellow Jackets on the ground, 120-46, and through the air 268-138. … USC was 6-for-8 on third down, while Georgia Tech went 1-for-9. USC failed on their only fourth down attempt, while the Yellow Jackets went 1-for-4 on fourth down. … The Yellow Jackets were flagged four times for 30 yards, while USC suffered only a single false start call.