|Georgia Tech (8-5)||27|
by CFP Staff
The Yellow Jackets were making their 15th consecutive bowl appearance, tied for fourth-longest active streak among FBS schools, and was playing in their 40th bowl game overall (22-18) to tie for the 12th-most nationally. But their bowl record dropped to 22-18 with a seventh straight loss, the second-longest active streak behind Vanderbilt's 9 in-a-row (Vandy lost to Cincinnati in the Liberty Bowl on the same day).
It was the 9th straight bowl for Utah which has played in a bowl game every year since Kyle Whittingham took over for Urban Meyer just prior to the Utes' 2004 bowl win over Pittsburgh in the Fiesta Bowl. Though they served as co-head coaches for that game, Whittingham is credited with the win and is now 7-1 as a bowl game head coach. Among the victories is a 31-17 win over Alabama in the 2008 season Sugar Bowl.
Utah had a 9-bowl winning streak snapped last year with a 26-3 loss to Boise State in Las Vegas.
A 17-14 upset loss to Colorado in the season finale prevented the Utes from playing in the first-ever PAC-12 Championship game. Prior to that loss, Utah had won four straight to recover from a 3-4 start to the season.
Georgia Tech's season went the other way. After a 5-0 start, the Yellow Jackets fell to Virginia, Miami (Fla.) and Virginia Tech in three of their next four games and finished the regular season with a loss to Georgia.
Both teams wrap up 2011 with 8-5 records.
This was the second meeting between these two teams. Utah also beat Georgia Tech in the 2005 Emerald Bowl, 38-10.
58.3% of CollegeFootballPoll.com voters picked Utah to win and the Congrove Computer Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com projected the Utes to be victorious by 2.32 points.