2013 Capital One Bowl

Capital One Bowl 2013: Running Game Will Propel Georgia over Nebraska

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 01: Running back Todd Gurley #3 of the Georgia Bulldogs celebrates scoring a fourth quarter touchdown against the Alabama Crimson Tide with teammates Watts Dantzler #78 and Rantavious Wooten #17  during the SEC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome on December 1, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IJanuary 1, 2013

It's only natural to focus on quarterback Aaron Murray when Georgia faces off with Nebraska in the 2013 Capital One Bowl, but it may be the Bulldogs' running game that does the most damage in Orlando.

That's because the Cornhuskers have allowed 4.8 yards per carry (96th in the nation, via CFBStats.com) and 25 rushing touchdowns (tied for 93rd) this season, including ceding 539 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground to Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game (a 70-31 loss).

Don't forget, while Murray is averaging a national-best 9.8 yards per pass attempt this season (to go along with 31 touchdowns to eight interceptions), the Bulldogs haven't averaged 37.2 points per game solely because of Murray's arm.

Freshmen Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall have rushed for a combined 1,983 yards and 24 touchdowns on 6.4 yards per carry this season.

In the 17-9 victory over Florida on Oct. 27, Gurley rushed for 118 yards and a touchdown. In the narrow 32-28 loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game, Gurley gashed the Crimson Tide for 122 yards and two touchdowns.

Another thing: Nebraska has been much better against the pass this season, allowing 5.3 yards per pass attempt (tied for second in the nation) while holding opposing quarterbacks to 46 percent passing (the best mark in the country). It's much easier to run on the Cornhuskers than it is to throw on them.

Murray will undoubtedly be given the reins in the Capital One Bowl, but it's important that Georgia continues to pound the rock with Gurley and Marshall against what has been a porous Nebraska run defense. 

After what we saw in the Big Ten Championship Game, it would be surprising if the Bulldogs don't employ a heavy dose of Gurley and Co. to uproot the Cornhuskers on the national stage.

 

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