The Georgia Bulldogs square off with the Nebraska Cornhuskers in the 2013 Capital One Bowl on January 1st. The Capital One Bowl is one of three New Year’s Day bowl games featuring an SEC vs. Big Ten matchup. Earlier in the day Mississippi State and Northwestern go head-to-head in the Gator Bowl (Gator Bowl Preview and Pick Against the Spread). South Carolina and Michigan meet up in the Outback Bowl kicking off at the same time as Georgia and Nebraska.
The Bulldogs and Cornhuskers are each coming off losses in their league championship games. Georgia lost to Alabama in the SEC Championship and head into the Capital One Bowl with an overall record of 11-2. Nebraska was pounded 70-31 by Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship and have an overall record of 10-3.
When Georgia is on Offense
Georgia ranks 20th in the nation in scoring at 37.2 points per game. Junior quarterback Aaron Murray was fantastic this season completing 65% of his passes for 3466 yards, 31 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions. Murray does a great job of spreading the ball around and had five receivers with at least 20 catches and 340 yards. Wide receiver Tavarres King has the ability to spread the field and averaged 21.7 yards per catch this season. The Bulldogs have a two-headed monster at running back in Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall. The duo averaged 6.4 yards per carry and combined for 1983 yards and 24 touchdowns.
The Cornhuskers rank 56th in scoring defense allowing 26.2 points per game. Nebraska gave up 63 points to Ohio State on October 6th and 70 points to Wisconsin on December 1st. They will have their hands full with quarterback Aaron Murray and the rest of Georgia’s offensive weapons.
When Nebraska is on Offense
Nebraska ranks 27th in the nation in scoring at 35.1 points per game. The Cornhuskers rely heavily on the run and rank 8th in the nation with 254.5 rushing yards per game. Quarterback Taylor Martinez had his best season throwing the football, but is still more dangerous as a runner. Martinez averaged 5.6 yards per carry and has 973 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground. Ameer Abdullah started the year sharing the load with Rex Burkhead, but was the feature back in several games while Burkhead was injured. Abdullah leads Nebraska with 1089 yards while Burkhead averaged 7.2 yards per carry on his way to 535 yards.
The Bulldogs rank 17th in scoring defense allowing 18.8 points per game. Georgia held their opponents to 10 points or less in 5 games this season. Linebacker Jarvis Jones was an All-American and led the Bulldogs with 12.5 sacks. As a team, the Bulldogs had 27 sacks and 11 interceptions.
2013 Capital One Bowl Pick Against the Spread
Georgia opened as 10-point favorites over Nebraska, but the line has moved and the Bulldogs are currently favored by 8.5 points. Georgia is better on both sides of the ball, and I expect them to win and cover. Aaron Murray has the second highest quarterback rating in the country and has plenty of weapons to work with. Wisconsin exposed Nebraska’s run defense in the Big Ten championship and there is no reason to think that Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall won’t be able to put up big numbers. I’m taking Georgia and giving the 8.5 points.
Prediction: Georgia 38 – Nebraska 17
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