Capital One Bowl Preview





(9-3, 6-2 Big Ten)
Website
Roster | Stats

CAPITAL ONE BOWL
MICHIGAN STATE vs. Georgia
Thursday, January 1, 2009
Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium - Orlando, Fla.
1 p.m. ET - ABC

Inside the Series:
Georgia, 1-0 | Last Meeting: 1989: Georgia, 34-27



(9-3, 6-2 SEC)
Website
Roster | Stats

MSU
 
UGA
 
Scoring
26.2
Pts./ Game
32.1
21.9
Pts. Allowed/ Game
25.6
31:07
Time of Possession
31:02
Rushing
138.4
Yds/Game
153.9
147.6
Yds Allowed/ Game
129.9
23
TDs
21

Passing
214.0
Yds/ Game
280.0
210.3
Yds Allowed/ Game
188.4
192-360
Completions/Attempts
226-369
53.3
Completion %
61.2
11/9
TDs/ INTs

24/9
Turnovers
22
Takeaways
15
21
Giveaways
17

SPEED READ
Michigan State (9-3, 6-2) returns to Orlando, Fla., for the second straight season with a Capital One Bowl berth after playing in the Champs Sports Bowl last year. The Spartans will square off against the SEC's Georgia (9-3, 6-2 SEC) on Thursday, Jan. 1 at 1 p.m. ET. MSU will make its second trip to the Capital One Bowl, edging Florida in what was then known as the Citrus Bowl following the 1999 season. The school has posted an overall record of 7-11 in bowl games with a mark of 7-10 since joining the Big Ten. Head coach Mark Dantonio has led Michigan State to bowl games in each of his first two seasons on campus. Big Ten squads maintain a 10-8 mark in the Capital One Bowl, including victories in each of the last four years by Iowa (2005), Wisconsin (2006, 2007) and Michigan (2008).

Georgia is the last SEC team to win the Capital One Bowl, beating Purdue 34-27 in overtime in 2004.  The Bulldogs have played in the Orlando bowl game on four previous occasions and boast a 2-1-1 record.  The 2009 event will mark the 20th anniversary of Georgia’s only encounter with the Spartans, which took place in the 1989 Gator Bowl game in Jacksonville.  The Bulldogs came out on top, 34-27, in Vince Dooley’s final game as UGA’s legendary head coach.

SCOUTING REPORT
Two of the nation’s top running backs will be on the field for the 2009 Capital One Bowl as Michigan State’s Javon Ringer and Georgia’s Knowshon Moreno put up quite the All-American campaigns this year.  Ringer led the nation in scoring (10.5) and was third in rushing (132.5) behind conference rival Shonn Greene of Iowa.  The versatile Spartan also put up 164.5 all-purpose yards each time out, which ranked 11th in the country.  This year he totaled 21 touchdowns and 1,590 rushing yards – the second-highest total in school history.  Backed by such a dominant running game, MSU QB Brian Hoyer only threw for 186.2 yards per game and totaled nine TDs and eight interceptions on the year.  Mark Dell often saw most of Hoyer’s big passes, hauling in 61.8 yards per game and nearly 20 yards a catch each time out.  Georgia ranked seventh in the SEC this season with 129.9 rushing yards and 318.3 total yards allowed each game.  The Bulldogs do not penetrate the line often by coming from the trenches, as they record just 1.4 sacks and 5.4 TFLs per game.  Where you will see a defender flying is at linebacker.  Sophomore Rennie Curran is one of only three SEC players to post over 100 tackles on the year and currently averages 9.1 stops per game.  He has recorded double-digit tackle games against LSU and Alabama this season and also leads the team with 3.0 sacks.  Reshad Jones earned 6.0 tackles per game and led the team with four interceptions on the year.

Just as MSU’s Ringer has been impressive on the ground this season, so too has his counterpart Moreno.  The Bulldog back has rushed for over 1,000 yards in two straight seasons making him one of only two Georgia players to accomplish the feat.  Moreno scampered for 1,338 yards this year and his 111.5 yards-per-game average rates 16th nationally.  Matthew Stafford has also been noteworthy through the air.  Stafford leads the SEC in passing with 267.4 yards per game and is one of only three Georgia QBs to tally more than 3,000 yards passing in a season.  Stafford’s favorite targets are freshman A.J. Green (79.2) and senior Mohamed Massaquoi (75.8), who rank first and second in the SEC in receiving yards per game, respectively.  Of Georgia’s 434 yards of total offense each game, 280 come from the air, which ranks 16th-best in the country.  Michigan State’s defense has been led throughout the season by linebacker Greg Jones and safety Otis Wiley, whose four interceptions are second in the Big Ten.  Wiley also has seven pass breakups on the year and is third on the team with 6.5 tackles per game. Jones is third in the conference with 9.6 stops per outing, followed by fellow linebacker Eric Gordon in 12th with 6.7.  In Big Ten play, Jones led the league in tackles, averaging 11.1 per game.  MSU allows 357.9 yards and averages over two sacks and six tackles for loss each time out.