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December 8, 2013

Rebs to bowl in Music City

Ole Miss began the 2013 college football season in Nashville. The Rebels will end it there, as well.

In the postseason for the second straight year, Ole Miss will face Georgia Tech out of the Atlantic Coast Conference Dec. 30 at 2:15 p.m. in the Music City Bowl.

ESPN's Brett McMurphy was the first with the report, but it's been widely apparent for days that Nashville would be the Rebels' landing spot in the SEC bowl pecking order.

"I am proud of our team's hard work and commitment as we continue our journey, and the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl is a great reward for our accomplishments this season," Hugh Freeze said. "We have one of the great bowl traditions in all of college football, and I'm excited that we have earned a bowl berth in each of our first two seasons. I appreciate the unbelievable support Rebel Nation has provided our team, and I look forward to seeing a sea of Red and Blue in Nashville."

Vanderbilt had the record at 8-4 to secure the spot, but it was determined by bowl officials and the school that the proximity wasn't a positive for either party this season. The 'Dores were in the bowl in 2012.

Vanderbilt is headed to the Compass Bowl in Birmingham, Ala., while Mississippi State will play in the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tenn.

The Rebels are in the Music City Bowl for the first time since 2000, when redshirt freshman Eli Manning entered the game trailing 49-9 before throwing three touchdowns in an eventual 49-38 loss to the Mountaineers. That's also the Rebels' last bowl loss, as they've won five in a row, including a rout of Pittsburgh in the Compass Bowl last season.

It's the first time Ole Miss has been in back-to-back bowls since 2009. The Rebels haven't played the Yellow Jackets since the 1971 Peach Bowl, a 41-18 UM win.

Georgia Tech and its triple option attack finished 7-5 overall and 5-3 in the ACC. The Jackets lost two of its last three games, including a 41-34 overtime defeat at home against Georgia. Tech did beat ACC division champ Duke, 38-14, back in September.

The Jackets have been in a bowl game every year since 1996 but lost seven in a row before beating USC in the Sun Bowl last season. Tech is 23-18 all-time in bowl games.

Ole Miss is 22-12 all-time in bowl games.

The two teams have a home-and-home scheduled for 2017 and 2018. Georgia Tech leads overall series, 2-1, winning in 1946 and 1953.

"The Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl is thrilled to host the student-athletes, administrators and fans from Ole Miss and Georgia Tech," said Toby Wilt, Bowl Selection Committee Chairman. "Music City is a great destination and we're confident that the teams and the fans will enjoy the wonderful hospitality for which Nashville is famous. We're looking forward to an exciting schedule of BOWL Week special events and activities, capped by a great game on the field."

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