Gator Bowl preview: Georgia vs. Nebraska

12/30/13 in NCAAF   |   BlakeLovell   |   86 respect

Nov 30, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs running back Todd Gurley (3) celebrates a touchdown with center David Andrews (61) in overtime against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Georgia won 41-34 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY SportsThe 2014 TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl takes place on January 1 at 12 PM ET on ESPN2. The game features #22 Georgia squaring off against Nebraska in Jacksonville in what will be a rematch of last year's Capital One Bowl.

With that in mind, let's preview the game and look at the keys to victory for both teams:

Georgia Players to Watch:

Hutson Mason, QB - With Aaron Murray suffering a torn ACL in a late November game against Kentucky, Mason will once again be the signal caller for the Bulldogs. Mason did play well in his first career start against Georgia Tech in the regular season finale, throwing for nearly 300 yards and two scores. The month-long layoff should prove to be beneficial for him as he's had plenty of time to get in more reps with the first team offense.

Todd Gurley, RB - Without Murray leading the offense, there's no question that Gurley has to be the man that produces points for the Bulldogs. The sophomore running back is one of the most explosive backs in the country, and he'll need to keep Nebraska on its toes for Georgia to score points.

Nebraska Players to Watch:

Tommy Armstrong Jr, QB - The freshman quarterback finds himself in a familiar spot once again, as he'll get the start for the Cornhuskers. With Taylor Martinez battling injury issues all season long, Armstrong Jr. has been able to get quality experience as the leader of the Nebraska offense. Limiting mistakes will be key for him here.

Ameer Abdullah, RB - It seems like we're dealing with the same situation for both teams -- star quarterback isn't playing, so star running back has to pick up the slack. Abdullah will need to have a huge game, and it helps that Georgia's defense has been rather vulnerable all season.

Georgia Key to Victory:

Take care of the football. This seems obvious, but will be the most important aspect of the game for the Bulldogs. Nebraska hasn't exactly been lighting the world on fire this season on offense, so if the Georgia offense can protect the ball and not give the Huskers a short field to work with off of turnovers, they'll be in prime position to win this game.

Nebraska Key to Victory:

Establish the run early. This isn't a knock on Armstrong, but if Nebraska wants to win, it has to be able to run the football. Armstrong's numbers aren't all that great, so it's crucial for the offensive line to create holes for Abdullah to run through in order to keep the chains moving.

Prediction:

Offense normally rules most bowl games, but I feel like the scoring here may turn out to be lower than most expect. Both teams are missing their stud quarterbacks, and both will have to rely on the run game to score points. Also add in the fact that these teams met last year in a bowl, and we should have a tight game between teams that know each other's tendencies. I consider this to be a true toss-up. I'll take Mark Richt's team to get the win over the Huskers for a second year in a row.

Georgia 27, Nebraska 20

What are your thoughts on the Gator Bowl? Let us know by commenting below! For more college football talk, follow @FanIQ or myself on Twitter!

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12/31/13   |   BlakeLovell   |   86 respect

Dan_B wrote:
Nothing says "bowl season" like Taxslayer.com!

Or Beef 'O' Brady's and AdvoCare V100!

12/30/13   |   Dan_B   |   1067 respect

Nothing says "bowl season" like Taxslayer.com!