NEBRASKA OFFENSE VS. GEORGIA DEFENSE
Taylor Martinez says Georgia’s defense isn’t anything that special — at least, nothing more special than what he saw throughout the Big Ten season. Those are brave words from a turnover-prone quarterback going against a defense that’s scored 65 points off 27 turnovers this season. Nebraska’s biggest concern will be linebacker Jarvis Jones, who’s forced seven fumbles and has 12.5 sacks. The Huskers might have an advantage if they can get Rex Burkhead and/or Ameer Abdullah in a rhythm.
NEBRASKA DEFENSE VS. GEORGIA OFFENSE
Naturally, all eyes will be on Nebraska’s defense. Will the Huskers show some resolve after the debacle against Wisconsin? Georgia boasts a potent rushing attack, with freshmen Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall. And after seeing what the Badgers did, why would anyone think Georgia couldn’t do the same thing? A more intriguing matchup is quarterback Aaron Murray, who’s thrown for more than 3,000 yards, going against the nation’s No. 1 pass defense. Nebraska, by the way, hasn’t defended a pass since the first half of the Wisconsin game.
For the first time since 1985, Georgia began the season with both a punter and kicker who had no collegiate experience. Marshall Morgan has made two field goals longer than 50 yards but has missed four extra points, and punter Collin Barber is averaging 41.2 yards per punt. Nebraska, of course, has senior Brett Maher, who’s been solid kicking but inconsistent punting. Georgia, with Malcolm Mitchell and Todd Gurley, can be dangerous on kickoff returns.
The common question the past month has been this: What will Nebraska’s mind-set be after its embarrassing loss to Wisconsin? A question asked less frequently: What is Georgia’s mind-set? Remember, the Bulldogs were within a few yards of defeating Alabama and taking the Crimson Tide’s spot in the BCS title game. Now, a non-BCS game against a team everyone says the Bulldogs should handle. Who’s more motivated? That’s always the unknown scale-tipper in bowl games.