Aaron Murray became the first SEC quarterback to pass for over 3,000 yards in three straight years
The Georgia Bulldogs nearly earned a trip to the BCS National Championship Game with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, but a heartbreaking 32-28 SEC title game loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide put them in the 2013 Capital One Bowl against the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
Georgia was one of the land's premier teams this fall. Led by quarterback Aaron Murray, the Bulldogs (11-2 overall) won the loaded SEC East with a 7-1 record. Make no mistake—Murray, despite miscues against the Tide, is a quarterback capable of lighting up defenses and stretching the field with his strong and accurate arm.
Taylor Martinez quarterbacks a Nebraska (10-3, 7-1) offense that was harrassed by the Wisconsin Badgers defense in the Big Ten title bout. The Badgers ran off the Huskers, hanging a decisive 70-31 win on Bo Pelini's boys.
The Huskers lost 63-38 to Ohio State, so they might want to take caution against Georgia, which has an explosive offense that features running back Todd Gurley, among others.
Taylor 'T-Magic' Martinez is Nebraska's driving force
Who: Georgia Bulldogs (No. 3) vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers
When: Jan. 1, 2013 (1 p.m. EST)
Stadium: Citrus Bowl
Radio: ESPN Radio
Internet Stream: CBSSports.com
Nebraska's Rex Burkhead
Depth chart information accurate as of Dec. 2
QB: Taylor Martinez, Ron Kellogg, Tommy Armstrong; RB: Rex Burkhead, Ameer Abdullah, Braylong Heard, Imani Cross; WR: Kenney Bell, Tyler Evans; WR: Quincy Enunwa, Taariq Allen, Steven Osborne; WR: Jamal Turner, Tim Marlowe; TE: Ben Cotton, Kyler Reed, Jake Long, Conor McDermott; OT: Jeremiah Sirles, Brent Ovale, Brandon Thompson; OT: Andrew Rodriguez, Jeremiah Sirles, OG: Seung Hoon Choi, Cole Pensick, Jake Cotton; OG: Spencer Long, Brodrick Nickens, Ryne Reeves; C: Justin Jackson, Cole Pensick, Mark Pelini
DE: Eric Martin, Jason Ankrah; DE: Cameron Meredith, Joseph Carter, Avery Moss; DT: Thad Randle, Kevin Williams; DT: Baker Steinkuhler, Chase Rome, Aaron Curry; LB: Alonzo Whaley, David Santos; LB: Will Compton, Trevor Roach, Michael Rose; CB: S. Jean-Baptiste, Andrew Green, Antonio Bell; CB: Josh Mitchell, Mohammed Seisay, Daniel Davie; CB: Ciante Evans, Charles Jackson; S: Daimion Stafford, Courtney Osborne, Justin Blatchford; S: P.J. Smith, Harvey Jackson, Corey Cooper
P: Brett Maher, Mauro Bondi; K: Maher, Bondi; PR: Ameer Abdullah, Kenny Bell, Jamal Turner; H: Jase Dean; LS: P.J. Mangieri, Joseph Rotherham; KR: Abdullah, Bell, Turner, Braylon Heard
Georgia is loaded with talent
Depth chart was accurate as of Dec. 2
QB: Aaron Murray, Hutson Mason, Christian LeMay, Parker Welch; TB: Todd Gurley, Keith Marshall, Ken Malcome, Richard Samuel; FB: Alex Ogletree, Quayvon Hicks, Richard Samuel; WR: Tavarres King, Rantavious Wooten, Chris Conley, J. Scott-Wesley; OT: Kenarious Gates, Mark Beard, Austin Long; OG: Dallas Lee, Ben Reynolds; C: David Andrews, Chris Burnette, Dallas Lee; OG: Chris Burnette, Greg Pyke; OT: John Theus, Watts Dantzler; TE: Arthur Lynch, Jay Rome, Ty Flournoy-Smith; WR: Macolm Mitchell, Rhett McGowan, Taylor Bradberry
DE: Garrison Smith, Ray Drew; DE: C. Washington, Ray Drew, Mike Thornton; NT: John Jenkins, Kwame Geathers; LB: Jordan Jenkins, Josh Dawson, Ramik Wilson, LB: Jarvis Jones, Jordan Jenkins, T.J. Stripling; LB: Alec Ogletree, C. Robinson; LB: Amardo Herrera, Michael Gilliard; CB: Sanders Commings, Sheldon Dawson; CB: Branden Smith; Damian Swann; S: Shawn Williams, Corey Moore, J. Harvey-Clemons; S: Bacarri Rambo, Connor Norman
K: Marshall Morgan, Jamie Lindley; P: Collin Barber, Adam Erickson; PR: Branden Smith, Damiam Swann; LS: Ty Frix, Nathan Theus; H: Adam Erickson; KR: Branden Smith, Todd Gurley
Taylor Martinez ran out of options against the Badgers, who won the Big Ten championship for second straight year
Nebraska was embarrassed by Montee Ball and the Wisconsin Badgers, 70-31, in the Big Ten title game in Indianapolis.
Down 14-0 in the first quarter, Nebraska's Taylor Martinez scrambled all around the field for a 76-yard touchdown. However, when totalling all the yards he actually ran laterally and down field, Martinez's touchdown actually went about 120 yards (or 360 feet, for those interested).
But that doesn't count in the stat book, of course.
Despite throwing for 184 yards and rushing for 140 with two touchdowns, Martinez couldn't rally Nebraska, which beat Michigan 23-9 and lost 63-38 to Ohio State in the regular season.
Aaron Murray's last-ditch effort wasn't good enough for the Bulldogs to top Alabama in the SEC title game.
With about six second left and trailing 32-28, Murray's passed was tipped by Alabama's offensive line and sailed into the hands of a receiver, just a few yards short of the end zone.
Poor clock management led to the loss, and Murray was yet again criticized for not getting the job done when it mattered most.
And so was his coach, Mark Richt, who fired back at the media for suggesting Georgia didn't come to play this past Saturday against the Tide, which faces the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the BCS title bout.
Do it for the Big Ten, Bo.
Show that his boys can play?
Mark Richt doesn't have to justify his team's performance against Alabama, he just needs to coach it to a win over Nebraska.
Coming up short has been difficult for Georgia, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's not one of the best teams in the country—it just means that the Bulldogs have a hard time winning when it matters most.
But the regular season is a piece of cake, right?
Another Capital One Bowl loss to the Big Ten just wouldn't sit right with the Bulldogs, who lost an overtime thriller, 33-30, to Michigan State in 2012.
Nebraska was chastised for failing miserably against Ohio State, and the fact that it was one of the better teams in the Big Ten only made the Big Ten look all the more weak this season -- which it was, so it didn't really matter what Nebraska did in the Big Ten title game because it was surely bound for a bowl loss.
However, the Huskers have an offense that has athletes Kenny Bell and Ameer Abdullah, along with Taylor Martinez, who can make things happen offensively. A win over Georgia would be a huge boost to the Big Ten, which is looking to restore credibility in the college football world.
Georgia junior Aaron Murray
Aaron Murray has the "star" quality about him.
He's a winner that just hasn't won in the postseason.
That will change if Nebraska's secondary doesn't respect his arm in the Capital One Bowl. The Georgia quarterback absolutely is a gamer that can dissect even the quickest defensive backs with his pinpoint precision.
Rushing is Georgia's strength, but a spot-on Murray is its bread and butter.
Taylor Martinez just makes plays happen.
He certainly doesn't have the ideal delivery.
He's not the most accurate quarterback, either.
But Nebraska's Taylor Martinez also has a winner's quality about him, and that's why he's called "T-Magic" by the Huskers faithful. Plays happen while Martinez is on the field, and more times than not, he's the one making them happen.
Stopping Martinez is always the goal for any team playing Nebraska. But don't count out receiver Kenny Bell or running back Ameer Abdullah. Nebraska's offense may have sputtered against Wisconsin, but it can score under the right conditions.
But those conditions may not be present against Georgia.
Georgia probably has a chip on its shoulder after losing to Alabama
Todd Gurley has to have a say in the Capital One Bowl for Georgia to steamroll the Huskers like Montee Ball and the Wisconsin Badgers did this past Saturday.
Gurley was the first Bulldogs back to rush for over 1,000 yards since Knoshown Moreno did in 2008. He's also quite physical—maybe a little a quicker and more powerful than Ball, who absolutely tore apart Nebraska's defense in the Big Ten Championship.
If Aaron Murray has redemption on his mind, Gurley is ready to hit every open hole with authority, and the defense keeps Martinez bottled up, the Bulldogs will come away with an easy win.
Georgia's Bacarri Rambo likes to catch balls not intended for him
Nebraska can beat Georgia if Aaron Murray stays home, Todd Gurley catches the flu and Mark Richt sends a kindergarten kid to coach the Bulldogs.
None of that will happen—most likely, anyway—so it's best for Nebraska to not think about toppling an SEC juggernaut.
It won't happen.
In this day and age, the SEC is home to the Kings of College Football. Nebraska was once among the elite, but it's nowhere near that level today, even with Taylor Martinez at quarterback.
Georgia coach Mark Richt
The accompanying photo shows what Mark Richt will be doing New Year's Day, and that's pumping his fist in celebration of a victory.
It's not the most "expert" thing to say that Nebraska has no chance to beat Georgia, but put it like this: The Huskers should hope that whole Mayan thing comes true so that they don't have to face Georgia.
It won't be pretty.
Prediciton: Georgia 42, Nebraska 10