Gator Bowl: Nebraska vs. Georgia

Friday, December 13, 2013 3:40 PM UTC

Friday, Dec. 13, 2013 3:40 PM UTC

This year's meeting between the two schools takes place at Everbank Field in Jacksonville after the schools accepted invitations to the Gator Bowl. ESPN2 has the broadcast for the high noon (ET) kickoff on New Year's Day.
<p style="text-align:center"> <style type="text/css"><!-- br {mso-data-placement:same-cell;} --></style> <span style="font-size:13px;font-family:arial,sans,sans-serif;color:#000000;text-align:left"></span></p> <p>A year ago, the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Georgia Bulldogs each came up short in their conference championship games to set up a collision in <st1:city>Orlando</st1:city> at the Capital One Bowl. This time, each team lost three conference games to finish out of the Big Ten and SEC title tilt pictures, and the result is a postseason rematch in another <st1:state>Florida</st1:state> locale.</p> <p>Georgia is a decided favorite for the battle, settling in as 9 point chalk at most shops monitored by <a href="/betting-odds/college-football/" title="SBR's live college football odds" target="_blank">SBR's live college football odds</a>. Bettors intent on playing the total are currently deciding 'over/under' on 60.5, up a half from the opener.<span style="font-size:1em"> </span></p> <p>This is the third time <st1:state>Nebraska</st1:state> and <st1:country-region>Georgia</st1:country-region> have squared off, each clash in a bowl game. The Bulldogs have won the previous two contests, whipping the Cornhuskers 45-6 in the 1969 Sun Bowl before handling them last New Year's Day in <st1:city>Orlando</st1:city> by a 45-31 count. <st1:country-region>Georgia</st1:country-region> was laden with a similar spread in the Capital One Bowl (-9.5) 365 days ago when Aaron Murray threw a Bulldogs bowl record five touchdown passes. The total was also close to the same (61.5), and had skipped above the mark before the teams got to the fourth quarter.</p> <p class="preview-title" style="text-align:center"><em><a href="/college-football/free-picks/college-football-bowl-picks-predictions-a-35673/" id="articleTitle" title="See SBR's Bowl predictions" target="_blank">College Football Bowl Picks &amp; Predictions</a></em></p> <p><b>Injuries To Top QBs Give This Meeting A Different Look</b></p> <p><img id="ctl00_head_ArticleAdministrator_picturePreview_imgSelectedPicture" alt="Image preview" class="imgSelectedPicture article-image" src="" style="font-size:1em" />The Cornhuskers won't have to worry about Murray shredding them again this year after the senior quarterback <a href="" title="Share your thoughts on this injury in the college football betting forum" target="_blank">suffered a season-ending knee injury</a> in a romp past Kentucky on Nov. 23. The SEC career record holder in TD passes, yards passing and total offense, Murray underwent surgery to repair a torn ACL in his left knee, and his next stop should be the NFL where's he is currently projected as a middle-round pick in next April's draft.</p> <p>Hutson Mason replaced <st1:city>Murray</st1:city> in the season finale against Georgia Tech and helped rally the Bulldogs to a 41-34 victory in double overtime.</p> <p><st1:city>Murray</st1:city> isn't the only injury concern for <st1:country-region>Georgia</st1:country-region> (8-4 SU, 3-8-1 ATS) and head coach Mark Richt who just completed his 13th season in <st1:city>Athens</st1:city>. A pair of safeties, Corey Moore and Tray Matthews, are listed as questionable for the Gator Bowl. <st1:city>Moore</st1:city> is nursing his own knee injury while talented freshman Matthews could miss with a bad hamstring.</p> <p>Bo Pelini and <st1:state>Nebraska</st1:state> (8-4 straight up, 6-6 against the spread) could be without two quarterbacks for the matchup, including 1st-stringer Taylor Martinez who hasn't played since late-October because of a hip injury. Tommy Armstrong Jr., a redshirt freshman out of <st1:place><st1:city>Cibolo</st1:city>, <st1:state>Texas</st1:state></st1:place>, is questionable due to an ankle injury, leaving senior Ron Kellogg III as the likely starter under center for the 'Huskers in the Gator Bowl.</p> <p>Kellogg actually finished the season with more pass attempts and yards than either <st1:city>Martinez</st1:city> or Armstrong, but was nowhere near the dual threat that the other two provided.</p> <p style="text-align:center"><em><a href="" title="Read our reviews before choosing your sportsbook" target="_blank">Read SBR's sportsbook reviews!</a></em></p> <p><b>Change At QB Means Slight Change In Offensive Attacks</b></p> <p><img id="ctl00_head_ArticleAdministrator_picturePreview_imgSelectedPicture" alt="Image preview" class="imgSelectedPicture article-image" src="" style="font-size:1em" />It would have been interesting to see Murray test what was a pretty good Nebraska pass defense that ranked 21st in the nation allowing a little more than 200 yards per game. Now it will be interesting to see if Richt allows Mason the same freedom to direct what was first and foremost an aerial assault behind <st1:city>Murray</st1:city>, or if he goes a little more conservative.</p> <p>The Bulldogs do have a solid rushing attack, led by sophomore Todd Gurley who gained more than 900 yards in nine games. Freshman JJ Greene, who filled in for Gurley when he missed three games midseason, is also a threat to break off a big run.</p> <p>Meanwhile, the <st1:country-region>Georgia</st1:country-region> defense can focus mostly on <st1:state>Nebraska</st1:state> tailback Ameer Abdullah and not worry much about Kellogg beating them with his legs. Abdullah averaged over 130 yards rushing per game, seventh in the country, and ran for more than 100 yards in 10 of the Cornhuskers' 12 games.</p> <p>I don't have a lot of confidence in whoever quarterbacks each side in this game, and will be counting on the defenses to do their job to keep this final below the total for my <a href="/college-football/" title="Free college football picks for all the bowl games" target="_blank">free college football pick.</a></p> <p><b>My pick:</b> Nebraska-Georgia Under 60.5</p> <p><b>Reg. Season:</b> 31-15 (+14.5)</p> <p>[gameodds]6/252345/?r3=43-19-349/dec&amp;r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]</p>
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