The Sweep

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Georgia running back Knowshon Moreno has eclipsed 1,300 yards in each of his first two seasons as a Bulldog.
Laura Segall/Icon SMI

Georgia (9-3) vs. Michigan State (9-3)
Jan. 1, 1 p.m. ET, ABC


Reason To Watch: Georgia began this season as just about everybody's No. 1, but a rash of injuries torpedoed the Bulldogs early. Looking back, losses to Alabama and Florida are perfectly understandable, but a home loss to in-state rival Georgia Tech to close the season still stings. Teams in this situation typically drift to one extreme or the other -- either they play lights-out in their bowl or they mentally check out. Michigan State is hoping for the latter.

Keep An Eye On:
The running game. Both teams have excellent feature backs who likely have benefitted from an extended break. Michigan State senior Javon Ringer (1,590 yards, 21 rushing touchdowns) started hot, but his production trailed off after midseason. That probably had something to do with his 370 carries -- more than anyone else in the FBS. Meanwhile, thanks to injuries, Georgia redshirt sophomore Knowshon Moreno ran behind a patchwork offensive line for some of the season. He still ran for 1,338 yards and 16 touchdowns, but he wasn't as dominant as the Bulldogs had hoped he'd be.

Final Analysis: This could be the final in-game audition for Moreno and Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford, who could both be top-10 picks if they decide to enter the NFL draft. Expect Stafford to look for freshman receiver A.J. Green, but the Georgia QB should stay wary of Michigan State safety Otis Wiley. After getting embarrassed by the Yellow Jackets, Georgia probably will come out fired up, and Michigan State may not have the firepower to hang with the Bulldogs.

The Pick: Georgia 27, Michigan State 17

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