It has been quite the disappointing season for the Georgia Bulldogs after a season that began as “BCS title or bust” for the program. Well, after a handful of serious injuries, including quarterback Aaron Murray, the Bulldogs finished the season with four losses and a Gator Bowl to show for it.
The same goes for the Nebraska Cornhuskers as they were the favorites to come out of the Big Ten‘s Legends Division and make their second-straight appearance in the conference title game. However, the Cornhuskers fell well short of that and also finished the season 8-4.
Georgia was expected to be a national title contender, but Aaron Murray had to put the weight of the team on his shoulders after injuries derailed the team’s hopes. With Todd Gurley‘s injury, the quarterback was forced to pass more often than not, and that led to a 16th ranking in the country when it comes to passing offense with 3,075 yards and 26 touchdowns. Oh yeah, and he had a depleted receiving corps to throw to. Gurley can be one of the best running backs in the nation, when healthy, and he rushed for 903 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Nebraska has been nearly non-existent in the second half of the season, going 3-3 in its final six games of the season and Bo Pelini seemed to have lost control of his team. With an early-season Taylor Martinez injury, the Cornhuskers looked to have declined steadily when it came to talent at quarterback, ending the year with Ron Kellogg III who finished the year with 919 yards and six touchdowns. While the passing game hasn’t quite been there since Martinez’s injury, Ameer Abduallah has excelled in the run game, rushing for 1,568 yards and eight touchdowns.
Defensively, Nebraska isn’t known for its ability to slow offenses down, but it has been much better in 2013 than it was in 2012. The Cornhuskers rank 54th in the nation in points allowed and 26th in yards allowed per game. Georgia hasn’t been nearly as impressive this season, ranking 82nd in points allowed per game as well as 55th in yards allowed per contest.
Nebraska and Georgia face off in the 2014 Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla., at 12 p.m. EST on Wednesday, Jan. 1. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN 2.
PREDICTION: Nebraska 23, Georgia 27
Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.