Not Exactly the Rematch Bulldog Nation Hoped for
The Georgia Bulldogs started off 2013 with a bang, beating the Nebraska Cornhuskers by a final score of 45-31 in the Capital One Bowl. Unfortunately for both sides, these two teams will meet again on New Year’s Day in 2014.
As for a more interesting subplot, the 2014 Gator Bowl marks only the third football game between the two schools. Nebraska defeated Georgia 45-6 in the 1969 Sun Bowl.
No disrespect to Nebraska, but this is a bowl rematch nobody in their right mind wanted to see when the season began. Time did not do much to build anticipation. According to the Kansas City Star, Husker fans are not wild about playing the Dawgs, either.
No Aaron Murray Or Taylor Martinez in 2014
The Hutson Mason era is in full effect in Athens. Georgia’s new starting quarterback led a triumphant comeback against Georgia Tech at the conclusion of the regular season. It would have been nice for Aaron Murray to start four postseason games in four years, but his torn ACL turned the page on Georgia’s quarterback situation two games ahead of schedule.
On the plus side, Hutson Mason gets another start under his belt before the long offseason begins.
Taylor Martinez’s father does not expect his son to play college football again. Martinez has dealt with a number of injuries during his senior campaign, the worst of which involved significant damage to his foot. The Nebraska QB started a school-record 39 games, and ends his Nebraska Cornhusker career as their all-time leader in total offense.
Georgia Defense Trying to Finish in the top Eighty
The Dawgs are currently ranked 82nd in the country in terms of points given up per game. As long as Taylor Martinez is not calling signals for Nebraska on January 1, Georgia will have a chance to finish in the top eighty for that category.
The young Georgia defense must use the time before the Gator Bowl wisely. UGA needs to force the opposition to punt more often if Bulldog Nation is to be a factor in the national picture moving forward.
Georgia and Nebraska: Similar Paths to Redemption
At the start of the 2013 campaign, both the Dawgs as well as Big Red had aspirations of winning a conference title. The dreaded combination of injuries and bad luck derailed those hopes, leaving the two universities hobbled and battling to go bowling. At present, each team is focused on the future while trying to finish the year with nine wins.