NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS (10-3)
vs. GEORGIA BULLDOGS (11-2)
Capital One Bowl - Orlando, FL
Kickoff: Tuesday, 1:00 p.m. EDT
Line: Georgia -10, Total: 60.5
Conference title game losers try to rebound on New Year's Day when Nebraska and Georgia match up in the Capital One Bowl in Orlando.
Nebraska was humiliated 70-31 in the Big Ten title game, whereas Georgia nearly upset No. 2 Alabama in a 32-28 loss in the SEC Championship. Both schools are also coming off two straight bowl defeats, with the Bulldogs losing in triple overtime last year. Huskers QB Taylor Martinez has led his team to just 20 points during the bowl skid, totaling a mere 229 total yards of offense with 2 INT. Bulldogs QB Aaron Murray has thrown 4 INT over his two bowl losses, but has 31 TD and 8 INT this year, ranking 2nd in FBS passing efficiency. Georgia NT John Jenkins will not play on Tuesday due to academic issues.
Can Georgia recover from its SEC title game loss to win handily over Nebraska? For the answer, download your FREE copy of the StatFox Edge College Bowl Guide for all the StatFox Experts picks for each of the 35 bowls, both Against The Spread and Over/Under.
Nebraska has plenty of motivation, as it's playing in this Capital One bowl for the second straight season, losing 30-13 to South Carolina last year. The Huskers are more likely seeking redemption from the 39-point pasting they received in the Big Ten title game when Wisconsin ran over them for 539 yards, the most-ever allowed by a Blackshirts defense. Before that contest, Nebraska had won nine of 10 games with the only loss coming to undefeated Ohio State. The Huskers have an excellent ground game, averaging 254 yards per game (8th in nation) on 5.4 yards per carry. Martinez and RBs Rex Burkhead and Ameer Abdullah are all capable of gaining big chunks of yards. And although Georgia has a decent run defense (178 YPG, 4.1 YPC), it did allow Alabama to rumble for 350 yards on 6.9 YPC in the SEC title game. Nebraska's defense gives up 26.2 PPG and 195 rushing YPG on 4.8 YPC, but the Blackshirts boast the nation's top passing defense at 148 YPG.
Despite the talented Cornhuskers secondary, there are not many passers in the nation better than Georgia QB Aaron Murray who threw his 90th career touchdown pass (2nd all-time among SEC quarterbacks) in the 32-28 loss to Alabama, a game where the Bulldogs needed just five more yards to pull out the victory. Now they will look to regroup and set the goal of winning a dozen games for just the third time in the history of the school. They will do so with a balanced offense that averages 274 passing YPG and 185 rushing YPG. Murray's 7.8 YPA leads all FBS throwers, as he's tallied 31 TD and just eight picks for the season. He also has the luxury of handing the football off to freshman RB Todd Gurley, who led the SEC with 1,260 rushing yards, thanks to a gaudy 6.3 YPC average and 16 touchdowns. The defense will miss star NT John Jenkins, but it still possesses a few NFL-caliber players, most notably SEC Defensive Player of the Year LB Jarvis Jones who has 12.5 sacks, seven forced fumbles and 22.5 Tackles for Loss in 2012.