Ga. Tech-Miss St. Odds

Starkville, MS A disappointing loss two weeks ago dropped Georgia Tech from the Top 25. A dominating effort brought it back into the rankings.

Bet College Football Week 5

The 25th-ranked Yellow Jackets look to build on one of the program's most one-sided victories Saturday night when they visit Mississippi State for the first time.

Oddsmakers from online sports book have made Georgia Tech -4.5 point spread favorites (View College Football odds) for Saturday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 65% of bets for this game have been placed on Georgia Tech -4.5 (View College Football bet percentages).

Georgia Tech (3-1) was No. 14 in the nation before falling out of the rankings with a 33-17 loss at then-No. 20 Miami on Sept. 17. The Yellow Jackets rushed for a season-low 95 yards and held the ball for seven fewer minutes than the Hurricanes.

"We could never get them off the field," coach Paul Johnson said. "In a game like that, you better maximize and we didn't. We played very poorly on offense."

It was a different story in last Saturday's 24-7 win over then-No. 22 North Carolina. Led by reigning ACC player of the year Jonathan Dwyer, who ran for a season-high 158 yards, the Yellow Jackets outrushed the Tar Heels 317-17 and held the ball for 42:06 - the most since a 30-10 win over Wake Forest on Sept. 14, 1996.

"I think a lot of people had written us off," Johnson said.

Mississippi State's first-year coach Dan Mullen is not one of them.

"Our run defense will have their hands full this weekend with Georgia Tech," he said. "We'll face a different scheme (spread option) than we're use to, but we're playing with some confidence and we'll have to continue to do so if we want to be successful."

The Bulldogs weren't last year against the Yellow Jackets, losing 38-7 on Sept. 20, 2008, in the teams' first meeting since 1929. Georgia Tech is 3-0 against Mississippi State.

Dwyer rushed for 141 yards on nine carries in last season's victory, including a school-record 88-yard TD, and Georgia Tech rushed for 438 yards - its most in 30 years.

The Yellow Jackets are fourth in the Football Bowl Subdivision, averaging 262.0 rushing yards per game.

Junior quarterback Josh Nesbitt leads an offense that is fourth in the ACC with 387.2 yards per game. Nesbitt, third in the conference with 77.5 rushing yards a contest, had a season-high 97 and rushed for two TDs against North Carolina. He also completed 7 of 11 passes for 89 yards.

Nesbitt is looking to stay healthy against Mississippi State this time after injuring his hamstring on a 21-yard run on the first drive last season.

In his second collegiate game, Jaybo Shaw stepped in for Nesbitt and completed 3 of 7 passes for 43 yards and a TD. He also rushed nine times for 61 yards and a 25-yard touchdown.

Shaw could see his first action of 2009 on Saturday after breaking his collarbone in the preseason.

Defensively, the Yellow Jackets' move from a 4-2-5 scheme against Miami to a 4-3 versus North Carolina paid immediate dividends. The Tar Heels' 17 yards on the ground were the fewest Georgia Tech allowed since it held Notre Dame to minus-8 in a 33-3 victory in South Bend on Sept. 1, 2007.

"Everyone came in determined and it showed throughout the day," junior safety Morgan Burnett said after intercepting two passes.

The Yellow Jackets will now focus on slowing down Mississippi State senior back Anthony Dixon.

In last season's game in Atlanta, Dixon rushed for 94 yards on 13 carries.

"He hurt us last year when we played them," Johnson said. "He is a very talented running back and a guy that is capable of going the distance any time."

Dixon rushed for 106 yards and two TDs in last Saturday's 30-26 loss to then-No. 6 LSU, but he came up short twice in the final 2 minutes when the Bulldogs (2-2) had first-and-goal at the 2-yard line.

Mississippi State quarterback Tyson Lee's keeper was stuffed on fourth-and-goal with 1:08 left.

"On the last play, I made a read and saw pressure upfield," Lee said. "I felt like I could knife in the end zone on the inside."

Lee completed 15 of 38 passes for 172 yards, throwing a 50-yard touchdown to sophomore Marcus Green, who had five receptions for a career-best 100 yards.

Bet College Football Week 5

Posted: 9/29/09 7:25PM ET

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