The Georgia Bulldogs will face the Michigan State Spartans in the 2012 Outback Bowl in Tampa on Monday, January 2 at 1:00 p.m. ET (ABC).
Georgia has played Michigan State twice in their history. The Dawgs beat the Spartans 34-27 in the 1989 Gator Bowl and 24-12 in the 2009 Capital One Bowl.
Georgia will be making their 47th bowl appearance in and 4th in the Outback Bowl. The Bulldogs currently have a 26-17-3 record in bowls. This will be the Bulldogs’ 11th straight bowl appearance under Mark Richt and 15th consecutive overall.
The Bulldogs (#16 BCS) finished the 2011 season 10-3 overall and won the SEC Eastern Division. Michigan State (#17 BCS) also finished 10-3 overall and won the Big Ten Legends Division.
Looking at the numbers, these two teams appear to be closely matched. Both teams have stout defenses, but Georgia has the better offense. Our prediction: Georgia 27, Michigan State 20.
Inside the numbers:
- Georgia is 2-0 against Michigan State.
- Mark Richt is 1-0 against Michigan State.
- Georgia is ranked 37th in Total Offense with 413.85 yards per game.
- Michigan State is ranked 58th in Total Offense with 390.38 yards per game.
- Georgia is ranked 34th in Scoring Offense with 32.15 points per game.
- Michigan State is ranked 37th in Scoring Offense with 30.85 points per game.
- Georgia is ranked 3rd in Total Defense with 268.46 yards per game.
- Michigan State is ranked 5th in Total Defense with 272.69 yards per game.
- Georgia is ranked 16th in Scoring Defense with 19.62 points per game.
- Michigan State is ranked 9th in Scoring Defense with 17.46 points per game.
- Georgia is ranked 24th (tie) in Turnover Margin (+7 ratio).
- Michigan State is ranked 24th in Turnover Margin (+7 ratio).
- Georgia is ranked 69th in Fewest Penalties Per Game (81 for 649 yards).
- Michigan State is ranked 88th in Fewest Penalties Per Game (87 for 725 yards).