Gator Bowl: Huskers vs. Georgia

USA TODAY Sports

Contrary to the wishes of some Husker fans who dreamed of spending time in Arizona after Christmas, the Huskers are headed back to Jacksonville, Florida and the Gator Bowl. Depending on your perspective, it's an upgrade over the rumored Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl berth.  It's a New Year's Day bowl game against an SEC opponent.  The downside is that the Phoenix area is easier to travel to than Jacksonville, and there are lots of Husker fans in the Valley of the Sun.

The timeslots might be a push.  The BWW Bowl is a late night affair, kicking off at 9:15 pm central time on the Saturday night between Christmas and New Years. On the other hand, don't stay out too late on New Year's Eve; the Gator Bowl kicks off at 11 am on ESPN2.

Nebraska will be playing Georgia, getting a chance at redemption for last season's Capital One Bowl loss. The Bulldogs went 8-4 this season, just like the Huskers in having an injury-plagued season. Quarterback Aaron Murray tore knee ligaments in November and has been replaced by junior Hutson Matson.  Murray isn't the only Bulldog with a season ending injury. Running back Keith Marshall and receivers Malcom Mitchell and Justin Scott-Wesley are also out for the season.  Could it be that Nebraska might actually be the healthier team on the field?

Last season's Capital One Bowl turned on an Ameer Abdullah fumble as Nebraska was driving the field against Georgia.  At that time, Georgia seemed to be gassed and Nebraska had the other hand.  Can Nebraska avenge that loss?  Las Vegas doesn't think so; they've installed Georgia as a 10 point favorite.

A lot has been made about the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl choice of Michigan. I suspect that this might have come down to the Big XII asking the Fiesta Bowl (who also operate the BWW Bowl) to not select Nebraska. The Big XII and the Fiesta/BWW Bowls have had a long established relationship, which will continue after this season.  Chalk this one up to resentment.  Chances are the weather will be better in Jacksonville, even though the travel will be longer and more expensive. Georgia will definitely have a home field advantage, as it's only about a five hour drive from Athens to Jacksonville.  Bulldog fans can start driving after the game and be home in plenty of time to return to work on Thursday morning.

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