Georgia and Nebraska arrive in Jacksonville battered and beaten – both without the quarterbacks they began their seasons with as well as a number of other injuries.
In all honesty, the game has drawn little interest from fansbases on both sides. Both teams had what could be described as disappointing seasons despite finishing 8-4. Add to that the fact that they faced off last year in the Capital One Bowl.
Regardless, they still have to take the field and play a game that should be a decent barometer in terms of where each team is headed in 2014. Personal, team and conference pride will all be on the line when the Bulldogs meet the Huskers on New Year’s Day.
Let’s see how a couple of our writers see the game playing out.
The Huskers come in a few defensive players light. They won’t have Avery Moss or Jared Afalava, who did not make the trip for a couple of different reasons. That’s really too bad, considering they both are regulars in the front seven rotation and the Gator Bowl promises to be a physical matchup where depth will be key.
I think the Huskers can get after Georgia with their pass rush, but the Bulldog run game might give the front seven some trouble. Ideally, the Nebraska offense can put enough points on the board to make this a shootout, forcing Georgia to go to the air often. If that happens, I give the edge to the Huskers.
A lot will depend on Ameer Abdullah and his ability to make key plays for Nebraska. He’ll be the B1G difference maker. If he’s on, the Huskers will be in it to the end.
Unfortunately, having watched Nebraska play all season, I can’t see them correcting the mistakes that plagued them all year in just a couple of weeks. Turnovers, missed assignments and dumb penalties have cost the Huskers in all four of their losses and almost caused a fifth against Northwestern. Georgia, even without Aaron Murray under center, is too good of a team and will jump all over the opportunities those Husker mistakes provide.
I’ll take the Bulldogs to win by ten points.
Both teams seem to be disappointed to be in this game after not living up to expectations. It’s hard to judge which team will have more motivation. Unlike many, I think Nebraska actually has a pretty good chance in this game, but it will depend on whether or not they’ve found any of their mojo since the end of the regular season.
Nebraska will bring a heavy pass rush at Georgia starting QB Huston Mason and will try and get something going on offense in the running game with Ameer Abdullah. Just not sure that running the versatile running back will be enough to beat a pretty salty defense that will stack the box and try and make the Huskers air it out to beat them.
I’ll take Georgia here, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see the Huskers show up here and make it close game. The B1G game changer will be Ameer Abdullah, who could make the jump to the NFL with a big game against a tough SEC defense.
PUBLISHED ON DECEMBER 30, 2013