December 31, 2012
Big Ten Bowl Preview: Capital One Bowl
The Capitol One Bowl pairs two teams looking to bounce back from conference championship game losses that were devastating in two very different ways. A heavy underdog heading into the SEC title game against top-ranked juggernaut Alabama, Georgia drove into the red zone late in the fourth quarter before barely running out of time in a heart breaking 32-28 loss, while Nebraska was absolutely decimated 70-31 by Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game.
The Huskers, who yielded an astounding 539 rushing yards to the Badgers, will be tasked to contain a venomous one-two punch out of the UGA backfield in freshmen running backs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall. Gurley enjoyed a breakout rookie campaign, sprinting for 1,260 yards, including eight 100-yard games, and 16 touchdowns, and Marshall added 723 yards on the ground and eight scores.
Augmenting the powerful Bulldog's ground attack is experienced junior quarterback Aaron Murray. A skilled game manager with a big arm, Murray stockpiled 3,466 passing yards and 31 touchdowns against only eight interceptions in 2012, and sits alone atop the SEC all-time record book with 90 career touchdowns passes.
Georgia will be without the services of star senior nose tackle John Jenkins due to academic issues, but are still among the most athletic and talented defenses in the country. UGA yielded only 11.2 points per game during a six-game winning streak leading into the SEC Championship Game, and rank 17th in the nation in allowing merely 18.8 points per game. Impact junior outside linebacker Jarvis Jones has been a force all season, registering 77 tackles, including 22.5 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks, and has forced seven fumbles.
NU will be heavily dependent upon a high octane ground attack orchestrated by speedy junior quarterback Taylor Martinez to keep the game within reach. Martinez has accounted for 3,640 total yards and 31 touchdowns, and will be assisted by a 1,000 yard rusher in sophomore I-Back Ameer Abdullah and senior I-Back Rex Burkhead, who has rambled for 3,192 yards and 29 touchdowns in his career. Sophomore wide receiver Kenny Bell has also developed into a true threat for Bo Pelini's offense, grabbing 46 balls for 806 yards (17.5 yards per reception) and eight touchdowns this year.
Statistically, Nebraska possesses the top pass defense in the country (148.2 yards allowed per game), but has struggled against the run at times, allowing four different rushers to amass at least 180 yards in 2012. Senior linebacker Will Compton paces the Blackshirt defense with 101 total tackles, and senior safety Daimion Stafford has contributed 89 tackles to go along with four interceptions and two forced fumbles.
The Huskers thrashed the Bulldogs 45-6 in the 1969 Sun Bowl - the only previous matchups between the two programs - and are 12-5 all-time against SEC foes in postseason play. Still the nine-point spread is justifiable based on NU's performance against Wisconsin and Georgia will pull away in the second half.
Prediction: Georgia 42, Nebraska 24
meineke car care bowl
|color="#ffcc00">Capital One Bowl|
- Jan. 1 - Orlando, Fla.
|color="#ffcc00">No. 23 Nebraska (10-3)||vs||color="#ff0000">No. 6 Georgia (11-2)|
and Television: 1:00 p.m., ABC
Spread: Georgia - 9
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