Yellow Jackets sting Bulldogs 49-34 to win Orange Bowl - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Yellow Jackets sting Bulldogs 49-34 to win Orange Bowl

(Photo source: WLOX) (Photo source: WLOX)
Miami, FL (WLOX) -

It wasn't a good day for Magnolia State football teams on New Year's Eve. After Ole Miss was throttled 42-3 by TCU in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, Mississippi State did not fare much better against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the Capital One Orange Bowl.

The Bulldogs were sluggish to start the game, with their first drive ending with an interception on their third play from scrimmage and their second drive ending with a turnover on downs.

The Georgia Tech offense started strong with a touchdown run on its first drive and a long 41 yard touchdown pass near the end of the first quarter.

The Yellow Jackets led 14-0 at the end of the first 15 minutes. That left the Bulldogs with one large hill to climb for the rest of the game.

Only one team in Orange Bowl history came back to win after trailing 14-0 at the end of the first quarter. Alabama pulled it off against Boston College in 1943. The Crimson Tide won that game 37-21.

In the second quarter, the Bulldog defense started off strong against the tough Georgia Tech running game, and held the Yellow Jackets to just seven points in the quarter.

The Bulldog offense came to life in the second and scored 20 points on two touchdowns and two field goals.

The most dramatic play of the first half came on its final play when MSU quarterback Dak Prescott completed a 42 yard Hail Mary touchdown pass to wide receiver Fred Ross.

The score sat at 21-20 going into the half. The fist half was all offense for both teams, and that theme continued for the rest of the game. The Bulldogs finished the half with 286 yards of total offense and the Yellow Jackets finished with 259 yards.

The Yellow Jackets came out strong in the second half when running back Synjyn Days scored on a 69 yard touchdown run on their opening drive. The ACC team didn't look back after that and continued to pile on the score through the third quarter.

Georgia Tech quarterback Justin Thomas played out of his mind and scored two rushing touchdowns in the third. The lopsided score sat at 42-20 heading into the fourth quarter.

The Bulldogs came out and tried to pull the Yellow Jackets closer when Prescott threw a touchdown strike to wide receiver De'Runnya Wilson on the first play of the final quarter.

The Bulldogs then elected to try an onside kick, but the attempt was unsuccessful when the Yellow Jackets recovered the kick near mid-field.

The MSU defense did not have an answer for the powerful Georgia Tech offense for the rest of the night. The Yellow Jackets scored on their next drive to all but put the game out of reach.

In the end, the daunted Georgia Tech triple option running game was too much to handle for the Bulldog defense. The Yellow Jackets piled more than 450 rushing yards onto the Bulldogs.

The two teams set the Orange Bowl combined offensive yardage record by running up 1,182 yards. The Bulldogs were responsible for 605 of the those yards. Prescott was responsible for 500 total yards on offense.

Prescott set a few more school records with his monumental efforts in the Orange Bowl.

He set the single season record for yardage gained with 3,449 passing yards and 986 rushing. He also became the school's career offensive yard record holder with 7,516.

To add even more, Prescott now owns the single season records for passing completions, with 244, and passing attempts, with 396.

The Bulldogs closed out their season with a 10-3 record, but ended on a sour note with a two game skid.

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