2014 Gator Bowl

The 2014 Gator Bowl was an American college football bowl game that was played on January 1, 2014 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida. The 69th edition of the Gator Bowl, it featured the Georgia Bulldogs from the Southeastern Conference against the Nebraska Cornhuskers from the Big Ten Conference. The game began at 12:00 noon EST and aired on ESPN2. It was one of the 2013–14 bowl games that concluded the 2013 FBS football season. The game was sponsored by tax preparation software company TaxSlayer.com and was officially known as the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl.

2014 TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl
69th Gator Bowl
1234 Total
Nebraska 010140 24
Georgia 0937 19
DateJanuary 1, 2014
Season2013
StadiumEverBank Field
LocationJacksonville, Florida
MVPQuincy Enunwa (WR, Nebraska)[1] & Todd Gurley (TB, Georgia)[2]
FavoriteGeorgia by 9[3]
RefereeMike Batlan (Pac-12)
Attendance60,712[4]
United States TV coverage
NetworkESPN2
AnnouncersMike Patrick (Play-by-Play)
Ed Cunningham (Analyst)
Jeannine Edwards (Sidelines)
Gator Bowl
 < 2013  2015

Georgia had a regular season record of 8–4 (5–3 SEC). They finished in third place in the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division, and were ranked #22 in the BCS. Nebraska finished their season with a record of 8–4 (5–3 Big Ten), tied for second place in the Big Ten Legends Division.

Nebraska beat Georgia by a score of 24–19. Nebraska wide receiver Quincy Enunwa, who had 4 receptions for 129 yards, including a 99-yard touchdown reception, was named the game's most valuable player.[1]

TeamsEdit

 
The 2014 Gator Bowl was played at EverBank Field.

The 2014 Gator Bowl marked the third time Nebraska and Georgia have played each other. Georgia won the last meeting 45-31 in the 2013 Capital One Bowl. The series was tied 1-1 coming into the game.[5]

GeorgiaEdit

Georgia entered the game with an 8-4 (5-3 conference) record. The Bulldogs began the season ranked #5 in the AP Poll and were picked by SEC media to be winners of the SEC East division.[6][7] After losing its opener to Clemson, the Bulldogs would win their next four games, which included victories over #6 LSU and #6 South Carolina, to move to a 4-1 record on the season. However, the injury ridden Bulldogs would go 4-3 the rest of the season, with losses to Missouri, Vanderbilt and eventual SEC champions Auburn in the Prayer at Jordan–Hare. The Bulldogs finished third in the SEC East division.[5][8] In addition, quarterback Aaron Murray suffered a season-ending injury in a game against Kentucky.[9] Murray had passed for 13,166 yards and 121 touchdowns, and had started 52 straight games prior to his injury.[10] Hutson Mason took over quarterback duties following Murray's injury and was the starting quarterback for Georgia in the 2014 Gator Bowl.[5]

The 2014 edition of the Gator Bowl marked the fourth appearance by Georgia in the game. The Bulldogs won their previous Gator Bowl appearance in 1989 in a 34-27 victory over Michigan State.[11]

NebraskaEdit

Nebraska entered the game with an 8-4 (5-3 conference) record. The Cornhuskers began the season ranked #18 in the AP Poll.[6] Nebraska began the season with a 5-1 record, but went 3-3 in the second half of the season to finish third in the Legends Division.[12] In addition, senior quarterback Taylor Martinez was injured in the season opener, and was limited to only four games in 2013.[13] With Martinez's injury, Tommy Armstrong Jr. and Ron Kellogg III took over quarterback duties.[14] After the Cornhuskers lost to Iowa 17-38 in the Heroes Game, there was speculation that coach Bo Pelini would be fired.[15] However, Nebraska athletic director Shawn Eichorst released a statement saying that Pelini will remain Nebraska's coach.[16]

The 2014 edition of the Gator Bowl marked Nebraska's second appearance in the game. The Cornhuskers won their previous appearance in 2009 in a 26-21 victory over Clemson. The 2014 Gator Bowl also marked Nebraska's 50th bowl game appearance.[11]

Game summaryEdit

First halfEdit

The first quarter of the game was scoreless, as all the drives in the quarter ended in punts. In the second quarter, the Bulldogs drove to Nebraska's 10-yard line. However, Georgia was unable to reach the endzone and settled for a 39-yard field goal to give the Bulldogs a 3-0 lead. The Bulldogs' defense then forced the Cornhuskers to punt after Nebraska was unable to get a first down. Georgia muffed the ensuing punt, and Nebraska was able to recover the punt at Georgia's 14-yard line. Taking advantage of the turnover, the Cornhuskers took a 7-3 lead on a 5-yard touchdown pass from Tommy Armstrong Jr. to Quincy Enunwa. On the ensuing Bulldogs drive, Georgia once again drove deep into Nebraska territory, but this time were stopped at Nebraska's 11-yard line. Georgia placekicker Marshall Morgan kicked a 28-yard field goal to make it a 7-6 game. On the next drive, Nebraska took a 10-6 lead on a 46-yard field goal from Pat Smith. The Bulldogs responded on its next drive with a 38-yard field goal from Marshall Morgan as time expired in the first half to make it a 10-9 game.[17][18][19]

Second halfEdit

Georgia's opening drive of the second half was ended when Hutson Mason was intercepted by Josh Mitchell at Georgia's 42-yard line. Taking advantage of the turnover, Nebraska extended their lead to 17–9 on a 1-yard touchdown run by Ameer Abdullah. On the following Georgia drive, the Bulldogs once again drove deep into Nebraska territory. However, Georgia was once again forced to settle for a field goal, closing the gap to 17–12. The ensuing Nebraska drive started at the Cornhuskers' 5-yard line, after Nebraska committed a holding penalty on the kickoff.[19] On a second and 6 play at Nebraska's 9-yard line, quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. fumbled the snap and was sacked at Nebraska's 1-yard line.[20] Facing a third and 14 situation, Armstrong connected with Quincy Enunwa on a 99-yard touchdown pass to take a 24–12 lead with 4:58 remaining in the third quarter. After forcing the Bulldogs to punt, Nebraska once again received the ball with 3:21 remaining in the third quarter. On the third play of the drive, however, Armstrong's pass was intercepted by Shaq Wiggins at Nebraska's 39-yard line with 2:03 remaining in the third quarter.[19]

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Georgia scored its first touchdown of the game on a 25-yard touchdown pass from Hutson Mason to Todd Gurley to make it a 24–19 game. Georgia's defense then stepped up, forcing the next two Nebraska drives to end in punts. Starting at their own 20-yard line with 7:31 remaining in the game, the Bulldogs once again drove deep into Nebraska territory.[19] Facing a fourth down and 2 situation at Nebraska's 14-yard line, Georgia elected to go for it instead of kicking the field goal. The Bulldogs were unable to convert, however, when wide receiver Rantavious Wooten dropped what would have been a first-down pass.[21] After forcing the Cornhuskers to punt, Georgia once again drove deep into Nebraska's territory. With 31 seconds remaining in the game, the Bulldogs needed to convert a fourth and 3 situation at Nebraska's 16-yard line. Georgia failed to convert, however, when tight end Arthur Lynch dropped a pass from Mason.[21] With 25 seconds remaining in the game, Nebraska ran the clock out to seal the victory.[19]

Scoring summaryEdit

Scoring summary
Quarter Time Drive Team Scoring information Score
Plays Yards TOP Nebraska Georgia
2 10:37 12 38 5:05 Georgia 38-yard field goal by Marshall Morgan 0 3
2 9:05 2 14 0:32 Nebraska Quincy Enunwa 5-yard touchdown reception from Tommy Armstrong Jr., Pat Smith kick good 7 3
2 6:53 7 41 2:03 Georgia 28-yard field goal by Marshall Morgan 7 6
2 3:18 9 54 3:12 Nebraska 46-yard field goal by Pat Smith 10 6
2 0:00 9 54 3:12 Georgia 38-yard field goal by Marshall Morgan 10 9
3 10:08 7 38 3:35 Nebraska Ameer Abdullah 1-yard touchdown run, Pat Smith kick good 17 9
3 6:32 10 62 3:36 Georgia 30-yard field goal by Marshall Morgan 17 12
3 4:58 3 95 1:14 Nebraska Quincy Enunwa 99-yard touchdown reception from Tommy Armstrong Jr., Pat Smith kick good 24 12
4 14:49 7 39 2:14 Georgia Todd Gurley 25-yard touchdown reception from Hutson Mason, Marshall Morgan kick good 24 19
"TOP" = time of possession. For other American football terms, see Glossary of American football. 24 19

StatisticsEdit

Statistics Nebraska Georgia
First downs 14 22
Total offense, plays – yards 59–307 82–416
Rushes-yards (net) 144 96
Passing yards (net) 163 320
Passes, Comp-Att-Int 6–16–1 21–39–1
Time of possession 26:36 33:24

Nebraska wide receiver Quincy Enunwa was named the game's most valuable player.[1] Enunwa had 4 receptions for 129 yards and 2 touchdowns.[18] Enunwa's 99-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter also set the record for longest pass play in bowl history.[17]

Georgia outgained Nebraska 416-307 in total yards. The Bulldogs outgained the Cornhuskers 320–163 in passing yards, while the Cornhuskers outgained the Bulldogs 144–96 in rushing yards.[18] The Bulldogs also made seven trips inside of Nebraska's 21-yard line.[17]

Nebraska's leading rusher was Ameer Abdullah, who rushed for 122 yards on 27 carries. Quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. completed 6 of his 14 passes for 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. Armstrong was also the Cornhuskers' second-leading rusher, rushing for 26 yards on 10 carries.[18]

Georgia's leading rusher was Todd Gurley, who rushed for 86 yards on 21 carries. Gurley was also the Bulldogs' leading receiver, catching 7 passes for 97 yards and 1 touchdown. Arthur Lynch was Georgia's second leading receiver, catching 6 passes for 69 yards. Quarterback Hutson Mason completed 21 of his 39 passes for 1 touchdown and 1 interception.[18]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c From Good to Great: MVP Enunwa Explodes. Huskers.com. 1 January 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-12-31. Retrieved 2017-12-31.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Bowl Schedule, Los Angeles Times, December 11, 2013
  4. ^ "2014 Gator Bowl: Nebraska vs. Georgia". State Broadcast. January 1, 2014. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  5. ^ a b c Timanus, Eddie. Gator Bowl preview: Georgia vs. Nebraska. USA Today. 1 January 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  6. ^ a b The AP Top 25 Poll - Preseason Archived 2014-01-15 at the Wayback Machine. ap.org. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  7. ^ King, Bill. UGA fans hope preseason camp eliminates question marks Archived 2014-01-04 at the Wayback Machine. AJC.com. 1 August 2013. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  8. ^ Georgia 2013 Schedule. ESPN. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  9. ^ Fornelli, Tom. Aaron Murray has a torn ACL. CBSSports.com. 24 November 2013. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  10. ^ Ellis, Zac. Georgia QB Aaron Murray tears ACL vs. Kentucky to end college career Archived 2014-01-25 at the Wayback Machine. SI.com. 24 November 2013. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  11. ^ a b NEBRASKA TO PLAY GEORGIA IN THE JANUARY 1, 2014 TaxSlayer.com GATOR BOWL[permanent dead link]. gatorbowl.com. 8 December 2013. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  12. ^ Nebraska Cornhuskers Schedule - 2013. ESPN. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  13. ^ The Associated Press (11 November 2013). "Taylor Martinez's dad: QB's Nebraska career likely over". USA Today. Retrieved 14 December 2013.
  14. ^ Ching, David. Injuries impacted UGA, Nebraska seasons. ESPN. 23 December 2013. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  15. ^ Kirk, Jason (November 29, 2013). "Bo Pelini after Iowa loss: 'If they want to fire me, go ahead'". SB Nation. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
  16. ^ Fornelli, Tom. Nebraska AD: Bo Pelini will continue 'to lead our program'. CBSSports.com. 30 November 2013. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  17. ^ a b c 99-yard TD pass propels Cornhuskers past No. 23 Bulldogs. ESPN. 1 January 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  18. ^ a b c d e Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Georgia Bulldogs - Boxscore. ESPN. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  19. ^ a b c d e Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Georgia Bulldogs - Play-By-Play. ESPN. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  20. ^ Georgia vs Nebraska Highlight - Tommy Armstrong Jr. sacked by Jordan Jenkins for a loss of 8 yards, fumbled, recovered by Neb Tommy Armstrong Jr. at the Neb 1.. ESPN. 1 January 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  21. ^ a b Huguenin, Mike. Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah rushes for 122 yards in victory. NFL.com. 1 January 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2014.