Nebraska offense vs. Georgia defense
The Nebraska offense can run the football and it can run it well. With Georgia's struggles to stop the run against Alabama, this makes for an interesting matchup. The Cornhuskers need to keep the ball way from Aaron Murray and the Bulldog offense, and they also need to do what they do best. Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez can make explosive plays from his position, and that is rare. Expect the third year starter to get plenty of looks on designed runs on first down to stay ahead of the chains. The Cornhuskers also have the luxury of turning to two explosive running backs in sophomore Ameer Abdullah and senior Rex Burkhead. Both have the ability to hit the big play, but both are also tough inside runners who can keep the sticks moving. Also expect Nebraska to take their shots in the passing game when in run situations. The time off gives every staff a chance to thoroughly self-scout, and Nebraska will probably have a wrinkle or two up its sleeve.
Nebraska defense vs. Georgia offense
The game plan here is simple and it is to be aggressive. The best way to slow down Georgia's running attack and to apply pressure to Murray is to play with bodies near the line of scrimmage and bring pressure. Expect a lot of man coverage with linebackers having the ability to read the running backs. If the running back releases, the linebackers will have coverage responsibilities, and if they don't, they linebackers will have the ability to get into the blitz and create pressure. Expect the Cornhuskers to put a lot of pressure on their corners and safeties on early downs, and to really mix it up on second and third and long. It is just as important to confuse Murray for Nebraska, as it is to apply pressure. Senior defensive lineman Eric Martin will likely be moved around quite a bit and placed in situations where Georgia can't scheme against him consistently.
Georgia offense vs. Nebraska defense
Georgia has been balanced all season and we don't expect that to change. Georgia will come out moving the ball on the ground and through the air early, and then adjust after that. If Nebraska is having trouble stopping the run, then expect offensive coordinator Mike Bobo to wear out Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall before they have a couple of months to rest. If the Georgia passing game is exploiting Nebraska's solid pass defense, expect the Bulldogs to stick with the air attack until something changes. Georgia has the luxury of feeling Nebraska out in this game, but make no mistake, the Cornhuskers will be motivated coming off their conference championship loss to Wisconsin. Despite that fire and motivation, expect the Georgia game to start fast as they have against most teams this season.
Georgia defense vs. Nebraska offense
Much has been made of Nebraska's performance against Wisconsin on defense, but Georgia has heard quite a bit about giving up 350 yards rushing to Alabama. The Bulldogs will be a little short handed up front, so they will need to win first down early and often. Expect the Bulldogs to fly down hill and play gap control football against the run game. Much like we expect Nebraska to bring pressure out of man coverage situations, expect Georgia to do the same. Martinez's fundamentals go south when under pressure, and he can be erratic and turn it over in those situations. Also expect Georgia to bring some weak side pressure from the inside (moe) linebacker. In doing this, UGA will be looking to force Martinez to rush his read on any sort of option or risk getting hit at the mesh point and turning the ball over.
Georgia has every reason to let down in this game. Senior defensive tackle John Jenkins is academically ineligible and their hopes of playing for a National Championship were doused in Atlanta a month ago. Nebraska has every reason to come out with it's hair on fire. The Cornhuskers were embarrassed by Wisconsin, and the taste is one they will want removed. In the end, this game will come down to who has the better team. Georgia needs to put punctuation on this season and get to the recruiting trail. Nebraska needs to finish strong and build some momentum going in to 2013. Both teams will score early, but expect Georgia to be the team that scores throughout and win by double digits in the end. Georgia 31 Nebraska 20.
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