A new year is here and the first bowl to take place in 2014 is the Gator Bowl, in which the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Georgia Bulldogs will do battle in Jacksonville, Florida. The game will televised on ESPN 2 and has a start time of 12:00 pm (Eastern). Current odds have Georgia listed as 9 point favorites, while the total sits at 59.5.
Analysis: The Nebraska Cornhuskers come limping in as they have lost 2 of their last 3 games, including their regular season finale at home to the Iowa Hawkeyes. Bo Pelini is squarely on the hot seat and im not sure that a win here will save his job. The Huskers come in at 8-4 on the year, but did have higher hopes this year, but for the most part it was their defense that let them down this year. Their defense did play well at times, but overall they still ranked 54th in points allowed, giving up 25.3 ppg. Their defense really showed it's ugly head in their 4 losses as they allowed 34 points or more in each of those losses. Offensively his team is ranked 19th in rushing, and 59th in total offense, while scoring 32.6 ppg, which is 45th in the nation.
The Georgia Bulldogs came into the year with hopes of competing for a national title, but their hopes were dashed with the opening loss to Clemson and then they went a mediocre 8-4 in the SEC. The Bulldogs have been decimated by suspensions to start the year and then injuries as the season has gone on. Most notably on offense they have lost top WR Malcolm Mitchell in the first game of the year and then later on Aaron Murray was lost for the remainder of the season as well. Still this offense Ranked 17th overall, 16th in passing and 20th in scoring, putting up 38.2 ppg. The Defense has been a problem for this team as they could not get on track this year after 4 starters were suspended for the first few games of the year. Georgia ranks 82nd in points allowed, giving up 29.4 ppg. These teams played each other last year in the Florida Citrus Bowl with Georgia picking up the 45-31 win.
Pick: Last year 76 points were scored between this teams and I can see at least 70 in this one as well. All year the Bulldogs have been all about offense, while playing little defense and their games went on to average 67.6 ppg for the year. Georgia will be without Murray, but Hutson Mason played well in his lone start this year, completing 61.1% of his passes for 299 yards with 2 TDs and he will have had a month of practice to get ready for this one. The Huskers offense has been sporadic at time, but they can easily score points on a below average defense and the Dawgs certainly have that. I would not at all be surprised to see this one played in the 70s again.
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