Capital One Bowl 2013: Grading Georgia and Nebraska's Performances
The Capital One Bowl is normally one of the most exciting bowl games of the season.
The 2013 edition did not disappoint Tuesday as the Georgia Bulldogs took down the Nebraska Cornhuskers, 45-31.
There was a ton of offense—both teams recorded a total of 1,045 yards. But the Cornhuskers committed three turnovers, which proved to be the difference in the ball game.
Here are grades for all positions for both teams from the the Capital One Bowl.
Aaron Murray, Georgia: A-
Murray threw two picks in the first quarter, but bounced back and ended his afternoon with 428 yards and five touchdowns.
Murray was able to pick apart the No. 1 pass defense in the country and came up with some big-time throws to help the Bulldogs earn their 12th win of the season.
Taylor Martinez, Nebraska: C-
Martinez did throw two touchdowns and kept the Cornhuskers in the game for three quarters, but he did throw two picks which proved to be the difference.
Martinez is much improved from last year, but could not come up with the big plays when they needed him the most.
The Bulldogs running game was as good as expected and kept the Cornhuskers off balance on defense. Todd Gurley rushed for 127 yards and one touchdown while Keith Marshall rushed for 38 yards on eight carries.
The run game for Nebraska was also good as expected and they shove the ball right down the Bulldogs throats. Rex Burkhead led all rushers with 142 yards and one touchdown while Ameer Abdullah added 48 yards and Martinez racked up 76 yards on 20 carries.
Kenny Bell led the Cornhuskers with 60 yards, but it was Bukrhead who was Martinez's go-to-guy with four catches for 39 yards and one score. Jamal Turner also had a receiving touchdown for the Cornhuskers.
Tavarres King had a big day with three catches, 104 yards and one touchdown. But it was players like Justin Scott-Wesley , Rhett McGowan and Chis Conley that made plays when Malcolm Mitchell went down with a concussion. Conley had two catches for 136 yards and two touchdowns.
Arthur Lynch only had three catches for 37 yards, but did score the game first touchdown to get things rolling for the Bulldogs. He also was solid in the blocking game, opening holes for Marshall and Gurley.
Ben Cotton had some big catches for Martinez, finishing the game with two catches for 69 yards. Cotton was not a main target for Martinez, but did not disappoint when his number was called.
The offensive line had some protection issues to start the game, but got it together once they figured out what Nebraska was doing on defense.
As a result, the Bulldogs tallied nearly 600 yards of total offense and could have been more if they did not have a few three-and-outs in the first half.
The offensive line was excellent in the run game, as the team rushed for nearly 300 yards. Martinez was constantly under pressure and that had more to do with the blitzes the Bulldogs were throwing at them.
However, the Cornhuskers did lose a lineman during the game and were also playing without their starting center.
Playing without John Jenkins and Abry Jones was almost too much for the Bulldogs to handle.
Garrison Smith was the only defensive lineman to make the stat sheet, nothing two tackles in the win.
The Cornhuskers defensive line did not fare much better than the Bulldogs, but they did make some plays early in the ball game.
Eric Martin had three tackles and two tackles for loss, and Chase Rome added two tackles.
This was not the best game for the linebackers for Georgia, but Alec Ogletree and Jarvis Jones made plays when they needed to.
Ogletree led all defenders with 13 tackles, three tackles for loss and one forced fulmble while Jones had eight tackles, two tackles for loss and two sacks.
Will Compton was the only linebacker for Nebraska that was all over the field consistently.
He finished with nine tackles and and interception returned for the touchdown.
The Bulldogs got burned on a few passing plays in the first half, but tightened things up in the second half.
Damain Swann tallied six tackles and two picks while Shawn Williams had 11 tackles. Bacarri Rambo also had a solid game as he added six tackles.
The secondary give Murray fits with their zone coverage at the start of the game, but Murray was able to pick apart the secondary as the game rolled on.
The secondary for Nebraska was out of position all game long and they were part of the reason the Bulldogs came away with the win.
Marshall Morgan did miss a long field goal early in the game, but the Bulldogs came away with a blocked punt in the first quarter which led to a safety.
The return game was solid, but they were playing without Malcolm Mitchell who went down with a concussion.
Giving up a block punt was a difference maker and was one of the differences in the game.
The Cornhuskers did have some good kick and punt returns which is why they worked on short fields the majority of the game.
The gameplan on offense led by Mark Richt and Mike Bobo was on point the entire game as Georgia used a healthy balance of running and passing to keep Nebraska on their toes.
The defense had some issues but Todd Grantham made some adjustments in the second half which led to them making more impact plays.
Head coach Bo Pelini did a good job getting his team ready to play after suffering a embarrassing loss in the Big Ten title game.
But once Georgia made the adjustments, the Cornhuskers could not counter with their own adjustments and that's why Georgia came away with the win.