Gator Bowl: Huskers Upset Georgia 24-19

Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

In a battle between teams surviving injury plagued seasons, the Nebraska Cornhuskers upset #22 Georgia 24-19 in the Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl in soggy Jacksonville.  Georgia made seven trips inside the Nebraska 25 yard line on the day, but only found the end zone once.  The Blackshirts stiffened in the red zone and held the Bulldogs to four field goals on the other six trips.

The Huskers have had turnover and special teams issues throughout 2013, but on the first day of 2014, it was Nebraska being the beneficiaries of Georgia's miscues.  Georgia's Reggie Davis fumbled a Sam Foltz punt, with Josh Mitchell falling on the ball at the Bulldog 14 yard line. Two plays later, Tommie Armstrong found Quincy Enunwa to give Nebraska a 7-3 lead.  After a Georgia field goal, Nebraska answered with their most impressive drive of the game.  Jamal Turner, back in action after missing much of the season with a hamstring injury, dropped a touchdown pass and the Huskers had to settle for a field goal.  On the final play of the second quarter, Georgia kicked another field goal to cut the Nebraska lead to 10-9 at halftime.

On the third play after halftime, Josh Mitchell intercepted a Hutson Mason pass at the Georgia 38 yard line, setting up Ameer Abdullah's one yard touchdown dive to give the Huskers a 17-9 lead.  Abdullah rushed the ball 27 times for 122 yards on the day.  After Georgia's fourth and final field goal of the game, Nebraska found themselves on their own five yard line after a holding penalty on the kickoff. Two plays later, Armstrong fumbled the snap and recovers the ball at the Nebraska six inch line. After the officials reviewed the play to ensure that Armstrong did barely manage to avoid the safety, lightning struck.

Just like in a November game at Penn State, Nebraska gambled that the defense would stack the line and try to force the safety.  Instead, Armstrong dropped deep and fired a pass towards Quincy Enunwa. Freshman safety Quincy Mauger tried to tackle Enunwa, but as we've seen all season long, it takes more than one defensive back to tackle Enunwa.  The 99.9 yard touchdown catch is the longest play in Nebraska history, topping Eric Crouch's 95 yard run in 2001 against Missouri and Freeman White's 95 yard catch of a Fred Duda pass in a 1965 game against Colorado.  The catch was Enunwa's twelfth touchdown reception of the season, which broke Johnny Rodger's school record of 11.

Nebraska seemed ready to take control of the game, but Georgia' Shaq Wiggins intercepted Armstrong at the Nebraska 39. On the opening play of the fourth quarter, Georgia's Todd Gurley caught a 25 yard touchdown pass on a pick play to cut the Nebraska lead to 24-19.  In the closing five minutes, Georgia twice eschewed field goals but failed to convert fourth downs inside the NU 20 yard line, the last with just :25 seconds in the game, ending Nebraska's three game bowl losing streak.

Nebraska finished the season 9-4, and is one of only three schools to win at least nine games over the last six seasons.

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