It’s almost time for Georgia and Nebraska to square off in the 2014 TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl. Of course that sounds familiar as the two schools met just last season on Jan. 1, 2013 in the Capital One Bowl.
This year’s match-up takes place at Everbank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. It’s a venue that’s well known by Georgia players and fans after their annual trip there to play the rival Florida Gators.
Georgia has now played Nebraska twice in their history. The Bulldogs fell to the Cornhuskers 45-6 in the 1969 Sun Bowl in El Paso, but evened up the series with a 45-31 victory last season in the aforementioned Capital One Bowl.
Georgia will be making their 49th appearance in a bowl game and 4th in the Gator Bowl. UGA tied Maryland 20-20 in 1948, beat North Carolina 7-3 in 1971, and beat Michigan State 34-27 in Vince Dooley’s final game as head coach in 1989.
The Bulldogs currently have a 27-18-3 record in bowls. This will be the Bulldogs’ 13th straight bowl appearance under Mark Richt and 17th consecutive overall.
UGA (#22 BCS) finished the 2013 season 8-4 overall and 5-3 in the SEC. Nebraska (8-4, 5-3 Big Ten) is not ranked in any of the polls.
Georgia comes into the game with a two game winning streak. After the miracle tip which gave Auburn a 43-38 win, the Bulldogs bounced back to beat Kentucky 59-17 and Georgia Tech 41-34 in two overtimes.
Nebraska sputters into the bowl game having lost their final regular-season game 38-17 to Iowa and two out of their last three.
This game will likely come down to which team is the most ready to play and which team wants it more. Georgia will be led by the 2014 QB starter Hutson Mason, who took over when Aaron Murray tore his ACL vs. Kentucky.
A healthy Todd Gurley will also pace the Georgia offense on the ground, while Mason will surely look to receivers Chris Conley and Michael Bennett.
One of the big questions will be the Georgia defense. Can they surrender less yards and points they they’ve been giving up this year? And how will the suspensions of Josh Harvey-Clemons and Sheldon Dawson affect the outcome?
Nebraska isn’t exactly an offensive juggernaut, so the Dawgs defense should be able to make some stops and keep them out of the end zone.
Our prediction: Georgia 30, Nebraska 23
For an in-depth look at the game, check out Dr. SEC’s Preview & Predictions.
Georgia vs. Nebraska
- Date: Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, Noon ET
- TV: ESPN2 (HD)
- Broadcast: Mike Patrick (play-by-play), Ed Cunningham (analyst), Jeannine Edwards (reporter)
Inside the numbers
- Georgia is 1-1 against Nebraska.
- Georgia is ranked 17th in Total Offense with 489.8 yards per game.
Nebraska is ranked 58th in Total Offense with 421.2 yards per game.
- Georgia is ranked 19th in Scoring Offense with 38.2 points per game.
Nebraska is ranked 45th in Scoring Offense with 32.6 points per game.
- Georgia is ranked 46th (tie) in Total Defense with 381.3 yards per game.
Nebraska is ranked 35th (tie) in Total Defense with 367.0 yards per game.
- Georgia is ranked 79th in Scoring Defense with 29.4 points per game.
Nebraska is ranked 54th in Scoring Defense with 25.3 points per game.
- Georgia is ranked 97th in Turnover Margin (-6 ratio).
Nebraska is ranked 119th in Turnover Margin (-12 ratio).
- Georgia is ranked 87th (tie) in Fewest Penalties Per Game (6.33 for 47.92 ypg).
Nebraska is ranked 75th (tie) in Fewest Penalties Per Game (5.83 for 51.25 ypg).