Gator Bowl Matchup: Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Georgia Bulldogs
Date/Time: January 1st, 12:00 ET
Gator Bowl Odds from WagerWeb
Point Spread: Georgia -9
For the second straight season, the Georgia Bulldogs and the Nebraska Cornhuskers are meeting in a bowl game in the Sunshine State. This year, the location is Jacksonville for the 2014 Gator Bowl.
It has been an odd season for the Cornhuskers. Generally speaking, going 8-4 is a good campaign, but Head Coach Bo Pelini is clearly under the gun and might be fired if this game ends up being an embarrassment. He essentially challenged the Huskers to fire him after losing to the Iowa Hawkeyes at the end of the campaign. We though, have a lot of sympathy for Pelini. He didn’t have QB Taylor Martinez for the majority of the season, and he was stuck with a slew of quarterbacks who were awfully green and weren’t ready for the big time level of play that the Big Ten offers on a week in, week out basis. With Martinez still fighting a hip injury and doubtful to play and QB Tommy Armstrong Jr. fighting an ankle injury which would limit his mobility even if he did play, we have to think that it is going to be senior QB Ron Kellogg III who is playing in his final game, getting the start. He threw for 919 yards and six TDs this year, but he is the only one of the three Nebraska quarterbacks which doesn’t have a ton of mobility. It’s going to be up to RB Ameer Abdullah, who had 1,568 yards and eight scores on the campaign, to carry the load for the Children of the Corn.
Head Coach Mark Richt is going to be back on the hot seat after this game one way or the other. He won’t get fired yet, but he’ll definitely be under the gun next season if the team is going to go 8-4 once again. The Dawgs suffered the loss of all losses when QB Aaron Murray tore his ACL in the game against the Kentucky Wildcats right at the end of the season, but this should be good experience for QB Hutson Mason, who had to lead the way against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the last game of the campaign. You don’t think of this team as one which averaged 38.2 points per game this season, especially without a rusher with anywhere near 1,000 yards or a receiver with anywhere near 700 yards on the year. UGA also had major defensive problems this season, allowing 29.4 points per game in the SEC, where offense generally isn’t the name of the game.
Last year when these two teams met in the Capital One Bowl, Murray went bananas, throwing for 427 yards and five TDs, all of which went for at least 24 yards. If the Black Shirts haven’t figured things out in the secondary better than that this year, they are going to be in a whole heck of a lot of trouble in this one as well, especially with Kellogg likely calling the shots.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.