Capital One Bowl Pick – January 1st
Nebraska comes into this game with a 10-3 record, but they can’t have much confidence after being thrashed by the Wisconsin Badgers in the Big Ten title game. The Georgia Bulldogs were one play away from being in the BCS Championship Game. Instead, they missed out on the BCS bowls altogether. This game has a lot of interesting little sub plots. Which team will come prepared?
How will the Georgia Bulldogs get over their disappointment from the SEC Championship Game? It seems obvious that on paper Georgia is one of the top three or four teams in the nation, but they weren’t able to get a BCS bowl berth. The players have said publicly that they feel like it was a slap in the face to them, but it’s hard to say how they’ll respond. Mark Richt’s team has the players to dominate this Nebraska team if they show up ready to go. Georgia has been an up and down team all season, so there is no telling which Bulldogs team shows up on January 1.
Aaron Murray has taken a lot of heat during his time at Georgia, but he has put together a great senior season. Any quarterback would be thrilled with 31 touchdown passes and only 8 interceptions. Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall are amazing freshman tailbacks who have made this offense much more dynamic. Both of them average more than 6 yards per carry. Defensively, Georgia started the season slow but finished on a high note. Georgia has been excellent against the pass this year, but their run defense has been suspect at times.
Nebraska is an example of how weak the Big Ten Conference is this year. The Cornhuskers managed to go 10-3 this year, but they really don’t look like a very good team. Nebraska was crushed by Ohio State and Wisconsin, and they also lost to UCLA on the road. There aren’t any marquee wins to point to. Coach Bo Pelini is under a lot of pressure in Nebraska, because this team simply hasn’t been as good as Nebraska fans are accustomed to in recent history. One major bright spot this year was the improvement of Taylor Martinez. Martinez’s passing numbers are much better than they were the last couple years.
It is still the Cornhuskers running game that is their bread and butter. Nebraska is eighth in the nation in rushing yards per game this season. Rex Burkhead missed a lot of time this year, but Ameer Abdullah stepped up and did a nice job for the team. Taylor Martinez is still one of the best running quarterbacks in the country. Nebraska averaged 35.1 points per game during the regular season. The Cornhuskers defense was first in the nation against the pass. They were horrible against the run. This run defense was absolutely gashed by all three teams they lost to, and they’ll be tested in a big way in this game.
Free Pick: Georgia -10
Nebraska hasn’t proven able to stay with the best teams in the country this year. Georgia may be a little flat at the beginning of the game, but I think they have the ability to win this game by a large margin.
Georgia 41 Nebraska 21