Game Day: Nebraska vs. Georgia

A chance to build

Husker players would like to see the 2014 Gator Bowl be a bridge to something else: the 2014 season. A win Wednesday would serve as a connector to a campaign in which most of the defense and key parts of the offense are slated to return. "It's huge to start off 2014 with a win," said junior I-back Ameer Abdullah.

READ MORE »

2-Minute Drill by Rich Kaipust

Nebraska rush offense vs. Georgia rush defense

Nebraska hopes to get back to near full speed after the rash of injuries on its offensive line. The Huskers were limited to 89 yards against Iowa and averaged just 141.8 per game and 3.7 per carry in their last four games overall. Georgia linebacker Ramik Wilson was the SEC tackles leader as the Bulldogs held five of eight conference opponents under 145 rushing yards. Edge: Nebraska

Nebraska pass offense vs. Georgia pass defense

The Huskers need to take better care of the football after throwing 11 interceptions in their last seven games, including two game-changers against Iowa. But NU veteran receivers Kenny Bell and Quincy Enunwa will get some opportunities against an inexperienced Georgia secondary susceptible to the big play. The danger for Tommy Armstrong and/or Ron Kellogg is the pressure the Bulldogs bring (32 sacks, 105 hurries). Edge: Georgia

Georgia rush offense vs. Nebraska rush defense

It's no stretch to say Georgia tailback Todd Gurley starts the 2014 season in the Heisman Trophy conversation, and television on New Year's Day isn't a bad place to launch your campaign. The sophomore is healthy again and running behind a veteran line, and Nebraska has had its issues with getting backs to the ground. Edge: Georgia

Georgia pass offense vs. Nebraska pass defense

Georgia isn't going to be quite the same without record-setting quarterback Aaron Murray, but junior Hutson Mason still has the weapons at his disposal that help the Bulldogs rank No. 16 nationally in passing offense and No. 11 in passing efficiency. Nebraska will have to find a way to generate some rush against an offense that allowed just 18 sacks despite throwing 420 passes. Edge: Georgia

Special teams

Georgia lacks punch in the return game, ranking last in the SEC in kickoffs (16.9 yards) and 13th in punts (3.2). But the Bulldogs are solid in coverage, All-SEC kicker Marshall Morgan has made 20 of 22 field goals and Collin Barber averages 44.1 yards per punt. For NU, Mauro Bondi has 46 touchbacks in kickoffs (25 more than Georgia) and Pat Smith has connected on 11 of 12 field goals. Edge: Georgia

Intangibles

Motivation is a legitimate question after both teams played in conference championship games a year ago and expected to be better than 8-4 this season. Both have negative turnover margins, but experience in close games. Nebraska hasn't won a bowl since 2009 (0-5 in last five postseason games overall), while Georgia owns an 8-4 bowl mark under Mark Richt. The crowd should be pretty much equal. Edge: Georgia

Key matchup: Georgia quarterback Hutson Mason vs. Nebraska cornerbacks

Although a fourth-year junior, Mason had played little behind Aaron Murray until the last six quarters of the regular season. Nebraska can challenge him with veteran cornerbacks in coverage such as Ciante Evans, Stanley Jean-Baptiste and Josh Mitchell.

Our take

Nebraska has watched SEC opponents eventually pull away in its last two bowl games, so it has to prove it can play the full 60 minutes. Both teams got battered by injuries this season, although NU hasn't had as many of the season-ending variety and will get some players healthy for this one. The Huskers' defensive improvement will get challenged here and they better keep their turnover problems under control, or else ...

Our prediction: Georgia 35, Nebraska 23

Live updates

 

#Huskers on Instagram

Videos

Extras

Printable rosters

Looking for a handy reference guide that you can take to the game? Check out our two-page printable roster, sorted by jersey number and including height, weight, year in school, hometown and high school information. Click here »

Gator Bowl guide

Check out a guide for the Gator Bowl game provided by the Huskers athletic department. Click here »

On social media

Check out the Big Red Today page on Facebook to discuss the latest news with the top Husker fans, and follow us on Twitter to get instant updates and analysis whenever news breaks.

BRT app

iPhone and Android users, get your Husker updates on the go by downloading our free Big Red Today app from the App Store and the Google Play store. Omaha.com/BRTapp and Omaha.com/android

Recruiting updates

Visit the Big Red Today recruiting page to find the latest updates on potential future Huskers, including player cards for those athletes already committed. Click here »

Email alerts

Sign up for the Big Red Today email newsletter to get the Husker news, analysis, daily headlines and more delivered to your inbox. Click here »

Big Ten coverage

Look for additional updates on our Big Ten page to get the best coverage of the conference from both The World-Herald and some of the best writers from across the country. Click here »

Big Red Today coverage

Carriker Chronicles: John Parrella on his mantra, coaching the 3-4 defense, being back at Nebraska and more

All year round, Adam Carriker is taking the pulse of Husker Nation. In Wednesday's episode, Carriker talks to Nebraska defensive line coach John Parrella about his "All Gas, No Brakes" mantra, coaching the 3-4 defense, being back at Nebraska and…

Barfknecht: New Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos’ age is no reason to question his capabilities

Contrary to current popular opinion, Social Security eligibility isn’t required to land a high-profile position in Nebraska’s athletic department. It may seem that way with Mike Riley, 64, as head football coach and now Bill Moos, 66, as athletic director.

NU coach Mike Riley says bye week comes at 'fortunate time' with myriad of Huskers recovering after tough few weeks

A lot of Nebraska players are pretty banged up this week, coach Mike Riley said on the Big Ten teleconference on Tuesday afternoon.

Former Husker Scott Frost running scout team to prepare UCF for Navy's option offense

Former Nebraska quarterback Scott Frost knows a thing or two about the option offense, and he's using that knowledge to ready UCF to face it.

Nebraska A.D. Bill Moos' contract includes $500,000 for potential bonuses, half based on football performance

New Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos’ contract indicates that football is on the minds of those who gave it to him.

Carriker Chronicles: A full analysis of new A.D. Bill Moos

All year round, Adam Carriker is taking the pulse of Husker Nation. Tuesday, Carriker takes an in-depth look at Nebraska's hiring of Bill Moos to be the next athletic director.

Regents, not intimately involved in search, give resounding support of Bill Moos hire

Members of the University of Nebraska Board of Regents expressed support and even delight Monday over the hiring of Bill Moos as Nebraska’s athletic director.

Shatel: Bill Moos not only can raise money, but stands ground with big-money donors

I’m hearing that some of the big-money folks are making their unhappiness known over Mike Riley’s football program.

Mad Chatter: Happy anniversary, Husker fans! May your next 10 years be better than the last 10; Joe Maddon's blunder and the injured NFL

Bill Moos may be a friendly face, but your skepticism is warranted.

Carriker Chronicles: Recapping Nebraska's loss to Ohio State

All year round, Adam Carriker is taking the pulse of Husker Nation. Monday, Carriker takes an in-depth look at the statistics behind Nebraska's 56-14 loss to Ohio State.

'Rural boy' Bill Moos, who oversaw turnaround at Washington State, named new Nebraska A.D.

Moos, who has been director of athletics at Washington State since 2010, will begin his tenure in Lincoln on Oct. 23.

McKewon: Blackshirts are beat up, but passive scheme, confusion hard to understand

Nebraska’s defensive coordinator presided over a Blackshirts surrender that produced more sorrow on my Facebook page and in my Twitter/email message inbox than I can recall since the 2012 Big Ten championship game.

Bill Moos calls himself 'a fierce competitor' when introduced as Huskers' new athletic director

Bill Moos said Sunday that his motto has always been the same in 25 years of athletic administration and won't change as he takes over at Nebraska: "Honor the past, live the present, create the future."

Hiring is all about fit to Athletic Director Bill Moos, who brought Mike Leach to Washington State

For Bill Moos, his first course of action at Nebraska will likely focus heavily on figuring out who fits at Nebraska, and who doesn’t.

Chatelain: Bill Moos' connections to Mike Riley add twist to situation

Picture this scene: Oregon State’s head coach (Mike Riley) sitting down with Oregon’s athletic director (Bill Moos) and telling Beaver football stories.

Shatel: Bill Moos seems solid, but he'll be judged by football success

Somebody asked Bill Moos about boots, so he rattled off a couple of his favorite brands. And sports writers nodded in agreement.

Barfknecht: New A.D.’s straight talk cuts through surprise, doubts

If there had been a national betting pool on Nebraska’s hire for athletic director, today would entail offering refunds.

Barfknecht's Big Ten rankings, Oct. 16

World-Herald staff writer Lee Barfknecht ranks the Big Ten football teams, as published in The World-Herald on Oct. 16.

From Mike Bellotti on down, those who served with and for Bill Moos praise his leadership

Bill Moos was always open with Mike Bellotti. So open that they had conversations about what would happen if Moos — then the Oregon athletic director — ever had to fire his football coach.

Huskers head into bye week looking for answers

There was a lot of talk about recovery on Saturday after one of Nebraska’s worst conference home losses ever.

Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos career timeline

Bill Moos came full circle in 2010 when he was hired as athletic director at Washington State, returning to Pullman after being an all-conference football player for the Cougars in the early 1970s and starting his career in athletics administration…

Dave Rimington accomplishes goals during short time as interim A.D., likes Nebraska's future under Bill Moos

The former Nebraska center stated three goals when he was introduced as the interim athletic director on Sept. 26. All three got done under his watch, Rimington said Sunday.

Carriker Chronicles: Gut reaction to Nebraska hiring Bill Moos as A.D.

All year round, Adam Carriker is taking the pulse of Husker Nation. In Sunday's episode, Carriker gives his gut reaction to Nebraska's new athletic director, Bill Moos.

Poll: How do you grade Nebraska's hiring of Bill Moos as A.D.?

What do you think of the hire? Vote in the poll below and leave comments sharing your thoughts.

Who is Bill Moos? What you need to know about the Nebraska athletic department's new leader

Bill Moos will take over as Nebraska A.D. on Oct. 23, University of Nebraska-Lincoln chancellor Ronnie Green announced Sunday. Who is he?

In murky waters: Huskers, unable to stop Buckeyes, suffer one of their worst home defeats

Nebraska football coach Mike Riley, captain of this pigskin Titanic, looked cold as he passively watched his program sink, perhaps for good, during Ohio State’s 56-14 evisceration of the Huskers.

Barfknecht: Looking for good news? New Nebraska athletic director should be in place soon

Look for Nebraska to introduce a new athletic director this week. It’s not official, but three sources with ties to NU’s administration indicated Saturday interviews took place late last week and that a decision is either imminent or already made.

Chatelain: Nebraska football can't go on like this anymore

For the sake of all those national champions and All-Americans, for the thousands who grew up and grew old on the planks of Memorial Stadium, for the pride and dignity of a state and its flagship university. Make. It. Stop.

Shatel: Nebraska's boss spoke loud and clear Saturday night after spiritless performance by Mike Riley's Huskers

You could see and hear the boss calling for change. And it seems inevitable now, change will come to Nebraska’s football program. Many want it now, of course, after the embarrassment that unfolded at Memorial Stadium on Saturday night.

Nebraska-Ohio State: Tracking the offense, defense

World-Herald staff writer Evan Bland takes a look at Nebraska's effort on both sides of the ball during the Huskers' 56-14 loss against the Buckeyes.