2011 Hyundai Sun Bowl Matchup

December 27, 2011 | Author: | Posted in Recreation & Sports

El Paso has been a venue for a bowl game for more than 75 years. Utah played in one of the very first Sun Bowls, and now the Utes come back as a member of one of the BCS conferences for the first time. On December 31st, Utah will square off against Georgia Tech of the ACC in the 78th annual Hyundai Sun Bowl.

The only time these two teams have played each other came in the 2005 Emerald Bowl in Seattle, with the Utes notching a 38-10 victory over a nationally ranked Yellow Jacket squad. The Utes’ only other Sun Bowl showing was in 1939 with a 26-0 victory over New Mexico.

Our live Sun Bowl line has Georgia Tech as a 3-point chalk, while the total has been posted at 51 points.

Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech began the year 6-0, but limped in with a 2-4 finish, ending with a 31-17 defeat to in-state rival Georgia in the last game. The Yellow Jackets did beat Duke, 38-31, in its ACC finale to end up tied for second in the ACC Coastal Division (5-3). Georgia Tech was 3-2 as a visitor this season.

Offensively, the Yellow Jackets rank 19th nationally in points scored (35 points per game) while compiling 462 yards of offense per game (319 rushing, 143 passing).

The spread-option running game is headed by three players – quarterback Tevin Washington with 890 yards and 14 scores (4.0 yards per carry), David Sims with 698 yards and seven TDs (5.2 ypc) and Orwin Smith with 616 yards and 11 scores (10.3 ypc). Washington completes 57 percent of his passes for 1,515 yards and 10 TDs with eight interceptions. His top receiving threat is Stephen Hill with 26 catches for 785 yards and four TDs.

On defense, Georgia Tech rates 60th in scoring (26 ppg) and surrenders 361 yards per contest (198 via the pass, 163 via the rush) while totaling 20 sacks and enticing 20 turnovers – two of which were taken back for touchdowns (Rod Sweeting and Isaiah Johnson, picks).

Julian Burnett leads the defensive unit with 113 tackles (44 more than anyone else), adding a sack, a forced fumble and a recovery, while Jeremiah Attaochu has six sacks, 52 tackles, a pick, forced fumble and fumble recovery.

Utah

The Utes’ first year as a Pac-12 member began unevenly, but steadied with a late four-game win streak that came to a close with a 17-14 defeat to Colorado to end the year tied for third in the Pac-12 South Division (4-5). Utah did notch a 4-2 record as a visitor, winning the final two and three of four.

Utah is one of the better defensive teams in the country, ranking 18th nationally in points allowed (20 ppg) and surrendering 343 yards per game (246 passing, 97 rushing) while compiling 30 sacks and forcing 32 turnovers – four of which were turned into TDs (V.J. Fehoko and Derrick Shelby, fumbles; Shelby and Conroy Black, interceptions).

Chaz Walker anchors the defense with 103 stops (27 more than any other player), adding two forced fumbles, while Black has four picks, 35 stops and a fumble recovery. Shelby and Trevor Reilly each have five sacks and combined for 87 stops, four forced fumbles, three recoveries and a pick.

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