GATOR BOWL - Jan. 1, 2007 - Alltell Stadium, Jacksonville, FL
Georgia Tech (9-4) vs. West Virginia (10-2)
With Calvin Johnson's biggest obstacle gone (that would be Jackets' QB Reggie Ball), do we finally get to see that monster performance we've all be waiting for? Probably not. But, make no mistake, Johnson and Georgia Tech's chances of winning this game increased greatly a week and a half ago when it was announced that Ball was academically ineligible to play. On top of that, the Mountaineers' Steve Slaton is expected to be very limited in the game due to a bruised thigh. Let's just say that the stars are aligning for Tech in a big way on this New Year's Day.
In this game, despite all the distractions, the team that is better prepared by their coaching staff will win this one. West Virginia is making their 3rd trip to this bowl in 5 years, while the Yellow Jackets are making their 2nd trip to Jacksonville in a month. Neither team has won here in any of those previously mentioned appearances. The Mountaineers went through a roller coaster of emotions a few weeks ago when coach Rich Rodriguez was thisclose to leaving for Alabama, only to pull back at the last minute. Aside from the Ball situation, Tech also lost DB Kenny Scott to grades as well. It has not been a relaxing month in either Atlanta or Morgantown.
Look for this game to be tight, a bit sloppy at first, and to come down to the final minutes. Despite all the distractions, Rich Rod will have his boys just a tad bit better prepared.
West Virginia 24, Georgia Tech 21