College Football Picks Capital One Bowl: #16 Nebraska Cornhuskers vs #7 Georgia Bulldogs

2013 Capital One Bowl
Tuesday, January 1, 2013, 1:00 pm Eastern, TV: ABC
#16 Nebraska Cornhuskers vs #7 Georgia Bulldogs
Florida Citrus Bowl – Orlando, Florida

Opening Line: Georgia -9 1/2
Current Line: Georgia -8 1/2
Opening Total: 57
Current Total: 61 1/2
Opening Money Line: Georgia -375 / Nebraska +315
Current Money Line: Georgia -325 /
Nebraska +275

Georgia is an 8.5 point favorite against Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl. The two schools haven’t played since the 1969 Sun Bowl.

Both the #7 Georgia Bulldogs who are 11-2 and the #16 Nebraska Cornhuskers who are 10-3 lost their respective conference championship games. Nebraska was crushed 70-31 by Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship game, and would have gone to the Rose Bowl with a win. Georgia lost 32-28 to Alabama in the SEC Championship game, and would have gone to the BCS Championship game with a win. Georgia and Nebraska meet in Tuesday’s Capital One Bowl in Orlando. This is the second ever meeting between the two schools. Nebraska won 45-6 in the 1969 Sun Bowl.

Nebraska is 24-24 all time in bowls. The Cornhuskers have lost 2 straight bowl games including 30-13 to South Carolina last season in this  same bowl. Georgia is 26-18-3 in bowl games. Georgia has also lost 2 straight bowl games, including 33-30 in overtime to Michigan St in the Outback Bowl last season.

Nebraska is coached by Bo Pelini and finished 7-2 in the Big Ten. The only other losses came at UCLA 36-30 and at Ohio St 63-38. Nebraska had won 6 straight games since the Ohio St game before losing in the Big ten Championship game. The Cornhuskers have additonal home wins over Southern Miss 49-20, Arkansas St 42-13, Idaho St 73-7, Michigan 23-9, Penn St 32-23, and Minnesota 38-14, along with road wins at Northwestern 29-28, Michigan St 28-24 and at Iowa 13-7 to close out the regular season. The Cornhuskers are 6-6-1 ATS and the total is 7-4-1 this season.

Nebraska is averaging 462.2 yards per game on offense, including 207.7 passing yards and 254.5 rushing yards. Nebraska is outscoring teams 35-26 this season. The Cornhuskers are in the top 30 nationally in total offense and scoring, and #8 in rushing. Nebraska is #91 in passing though. Nebraska is -12 in turnovers with 33 giveaways. Nebraska has allowed 30 sacks this season and averages 60 penalty yards per game. The Cornhuskers are 84/190 on third and fourth down conversions and 49/58 scoring in the red zone with 36 touchdowns. On defense, Nebraska is allowing 343.1 yards per game including 148.2 passing yards and 194.8 rushing yards. The Cornhuskers are #23 in total defense and #1 against the pass nationally. The Huskers are #97 against the rush. Nebraska has forced 29 sacks and 21 turnovers. Cornhusker opponents are 70/206 on third and fourth down conversions and 35/44 scoring in the red zone with 24 touchdowns. Nebraska has 3 defensive/special teams touchdowns.

Quarterback Taylor Martinez has completed 212 of 341 passes (62.2%) for 2,667 yards, with 21 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Martinez also has 175 carries for 973 yards and 10 touchdowns. Receiver Kenny Bell has 46 catches, 803 yards and 8 touchdowns. Quincy Enunwa has 40 catches, 459 yards and a touchdown. Kyler Reed, Jamal Turner, Ben Cotton, and Steven Osborne also get significant catches. All have two touchdown catches.

Running back Ameer Abdullah has 219 carries, 1,089 yards and 8 touchdowns, along with 23 catches, 167 yards and 2 touchdowns. Abdullah also has a punt return for a touchdown. Rex Burkhead has 74 carries, 535 yards and 4 touchdowns, along with 7 catches and a touchdown. Imani Cross has 55 carries, 289 yards, and 6 touchdowns. Braylon Heard has 51 carries, 343 yards and 3 touchdowns. Fullback Mike Marrow is questionable with a knee injury. Eight Huskers are listed as questionable, doubtful, or out including 4 defensive players.

Georgia is coached by Mark Richt and finished 7-2 in the SEC. The only other loss for the Bulldogs came at South Carolina 35-7. Georgia also had a 6 game winning streak before their SEC Championship game loss. The Bulldogs have home wins over Buffalo 45-23, Florida Atlantic 56-20, Vanderbilt 48-3, Tennessee 51-44, Ole Miss 37-10, Georgia Southern 45-14, and  against Georgia Tech 42-10 to close out the regular season. Georgia has a win against Florida in Jacksonville 17-9, along with road wins at Missouri 41-20, Kentucky 29-24, and Auburn 38-0. Georgia is 7-6 ATS and the total is 6-6 this season.

Georgia is averaging 458.8 yards per game on offense, including 273.5 passing yards and 184.8 rushing yards. Georgia is outscoring opponents 37-19 this season. The Bulldogs are 42nd or better in all offensive categories. The Bulldogs are +10 in turnovers with 17 giveaways. Georgia averages 51.8 penalty yards per game and has allowed 25 sacks. Georgia is 77/170 on third and fourth down conversions and 38/45 scoring in the red zone with 33 touchdowns. On defense, the Bulldogs are allowing 351.2 total yards, including 173 passing yards and 178.2 rushing yards. The Bulldogs are in the top 30 nationally in total defense, against the pass, and in points allowed. Georgia has forced 27 turnovers and 27 sacks this season. Bulldog opponents are 75/211 on third and fourth down conversions and 28/39 scoring in the red zone with 20 touchdowns.

Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray has completed 231 of 353 passes (65.4%) for 3,466 yards with 31 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. Murray has been sacked 23 times, but he does have 3 rushing touchdowns.

Running back Todd Gurley has 199 carries, 1,260 yards, and 16 touchdowns, plus 15 catches for 113 yards. He has a kickoff return for a touchdown. Keith Marshall has 109 carries, 728 yards, and 8 touchdowns along with 8 catches for 52 yards. Ken Malcome has 57 carries, 272 yards, and 2 touchdowns.

Receiver Tavarres King has 39 catches, 846 yards, and 8 touchdowns. Malcolm Mitchell has 40 catches, 532 yards and 4 touchdowns. Marlon Brown and Michael Bennett are both out for the season with leg injuries. Each had 4 touchdown catches and at least 24 catches. Arthur Lynch, Chris Conley and Rantavious Wooten will also get significant catches. Conley has 4 touchdown catches. Lynch and Wooten each have 2 touchdowns. Thirteen players are listed on the injury report including 7 defensive players.

Nebraska is 3-1-1 ATS against teams with winning records and after a straight up loss of 20 points or more, 6-2 after after allowing 40 points or more, and 3-1-2 after allowing 200 rushing yards or more.

Georgia is 4-0 ATS after passing for 280 yards or more, 5-1 after allowing 450 yards or more, and overall, 4-1 against teams with winning records, and after allowing 170 passing yards or less, 1-4 after a straight up loss, and in non-conference games.

In the Big Ten Championship Game Wisconsin ran all over Nebraska and rushed for 539 yards and 8 touchdowns. Nebraska is great against the pass but terrible against the run. Georgia’s sensational running back duo of Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall nicknamed “Gurshall” should have a field day. Now the only thing that could prevent that is if Georgia lets the disappointment of not playing in the BCS Championship game causes them to not be motivated. But Nebraska is also facing their own disappointment of being in Orlando instead of Pasadena. I still think Georgia rolls though.

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