Georgia Tech will face LSU in its 12th consecutive bowl game in the 2008 Chick-fil-A Bowl, the ninth-longest running bowl game at 41 years.
The Yellow Jackets are making their 37th appearance in a bowl game and fourth in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, traveling all of 2.04 miles from campus to the Georgia Dome. LSU is making its' 40th bowl game appearance and eighth consecutive bowl trip. The Tigers' last appearance in the Chick-fil-A bowl came in 2005 when the Tigers defeated Miami, 40-3.
In Georgia Tech’s last appearance in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, the Yellow Jackets fell to LSU 28-14 in 2000. That game also marked the last time Georgia Tech played indoors.
The Yellow Jackets are 1-2 all-time when playing on New Year’s Eve, while the most recent was last year in a 40-28 loss to Fresno State in the 2007 Humanitarian Bowl.
The Ramblin' Wreck tied for the ACC Coastal Division lead with a 5-3 mark in league play, losing a shot at the conference title due to a loss at Virginia Tech. Head Coach Paul Johnson earned ACC Coach of the Year honors to go along with Jonathan Dwyer’s Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year awards.
LSU finished third in the SEC West with a 7-5 overall record, and 3-5 league mark. Last season, the Tigers won the BCS title with a 38-24 victory over Ohio State to improve to 20-18-1 in bowl games.
Georgia Tech leads the all-time series against the Bayou Bengals 12-6 after dropping the last four meetings. Prior to the 2000 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, the teams had not met since 1963 when LSU won 7-6 in Baton Rouge in the Wreck's final year as a member of the SEC.
The Jackets have the third-ranked rushing attack in the nation with 282.33 yards per game to go along with the 23rd-ranked total defense in the nation, which has held opponents to 312.67 yards per game. Georgia Tech has also outscored opponents 26.17-to-18.83 points per game.
Jonathan Dwyer, the ACC Offensive Player of the Year, led the ACC in rushing (110.7 yards per game), and ranked second in all-purpose yards per game (136.8) and touchdowns (13). He had nine 100-yard rushing games this season, including four straight to end the regular season.
Michael Johnson ranks third in the ACC in tackles-for-loss (15.0) and fourth in sacks (7.0). The 6-7 Johnson broke up seven passes, forced two fumbles, recovered a fumble, blocked a Mississippi State field goal attempt and returned an interception for a touchdown against Miami. Vance Walker has 8.0 tackles-for-loss and 3.0 sacks, including a sack in the end zone for a safety that was key in Tech's 19-16 victory at Boston College. Morgan Burnett is tied for the NCAA lead in interceptions with seven, including a 35-yard INT return for a touchdown at Georgia. He leads the Yellow Jackets in tackles (79) to go with 5.5 tackles-for-loss, eight pass break-ups and a forced fumble.
Georgia Tech's Scott Blair handles both the place-kicking and punting duties. Last season, the Yellow Jackets had the 2007 first-team All-ACC kicker in Travis Bell, and the 2007 Ray Guy Award winner as the nation's top punter in Durant Brooks. Blair has made at least two touchdown-saving tackles - at Clemson and vs. Florida State. Blair has kicked 11 field goals this season, scored 66 points and 10 of his 34 punts have been downed inside the 20. Blair ranks 10th in the ACC in field goals made and 10th in scoring by kicking.
The Tigers are looking to bounce back after consecutive losses to close the regular season against Ole Miss (31-13) and Arkansas (31-30).
The Tigers have the No. 17 ranked rushing defense, which has held opponents to 105.67 yards per game. Rahim Alem ranks in a tie for 33rd with .67 sacks per game.
In the loss to the Razorbacks, Tiger true freshman Jordan Jefferson took every snap under center and finished 9-of-21 passing for 143 yards and two touchdowns to go along with 19 rushes for 50 yards. Wide receiver Brandon LaFell, who has caught at least one pass in 27 straight games, has 903 yards receiving and eight touchdowns this season, and ranks second in the SEC in receptions. Running back Charles Scott, who has rushed for 15 touchdowns this season, ranks fourth in the SEC in rushing (92.4 ypg). Herman Johnson anchors an LSU offensive line that has helped the Tiger backfield average 167.2 yards a game, which ranks fourth in the SEC.
LSU's Tyson Jackson and Darry Beckwith represent LSU's defense on the AP second team. Jackson finished the regular season with 34 tackles and ranked second on the team in tackles for losses with 8.5 and sacks with 4.5. His 18.5 career sacks sit in eighth place in LSU career annals. Beckwith is making his first appearance on the AP team. The senior was also one of 12 finalists for the Butkus Award, presented annually to college football's top linebacker.
On special teams, LSU's Colt David was named a first-team All-SEC performer by the coaches again this season after receiving a second-team AP nod. David has shattered nearly every LSU career kicking and scoring record this season after connecting on 15-of-20 field goals. In 2008, he became the school's all-time leading scorer surpassing Kevin Faulk and stands at 361 career points.