Quarterback Aaron Murray passes No. 7 Georgia past No. 16 Nebraska
Orlando, FL, United States (4E Sports) – Aaron Murray threw for 428 yards and five touchdowns as No. 7 Georgia overwhelmed No. 16 Nebraska with a Capital One Bowl-record 589 yards en route to a 45-31 triumph Tuesday at Florida Citrus Bowl.
Murray completed 18 of 33 passes and set Georgia bowl records in touchdown passes, yards and longest touchdown pass – an 87-yard scoring heave to Chris Conley – as the Bulldogs finished their season with a 12-2 mark, including a 7-1 record in the SEC.
The 2012 squad became the third team in school history to finish with 12 wins in a season, joining the 1980 National Championship team and the 2002 SEC Championship teams for the distinction.
Georgia also set a bowl record with 45 points scored, besting the previous mark of 44 in the 2009 Independence Bowl win over Texas A&M.
Conley caught two of Murray’s passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns while Tavarres King picked up 104 yards on three catches and a touchdown. Keith Marshall and Arthur Lynch were also on the receiving end of Murray’s touchdown passes.
Todd Gurley led Georgia’s rushing attack, picking up 125 yards on 23 carries, scoring once while Keith Marshall finished with 36 yards on eight carries.
Taylor Martinez finished 16-for-27 for 204 yards and two touchdowns but he had two interceptions for the Cornhuskers, who lost their third straight bowl game.
Rex Burkhead spearheaded Nebraska’s rushing game, tallying 140 yards on 24 carries and a score and also had a 16-yard touchdown catch.
Jamal Turner caught the other touchdown pass from Martinez while Will Compton returned an interception 24 yards for a touchdown for Nebraska.
Georgia took a 2-0 lead on a safety with 11:49 on the clock and Murray extended it to 9-0 with a 29-yard touchdown pass to Lynch.
Nebraska answered with a pair of touchdowns to take a 14-9 lead but it did not last as Murray found King for a 75-yard touchdown pass and Gurley added a scoring run, giving the Bulldogs a 23-14 advantage.
The Cornhuskers responded with a six-play, 44-yard drive that resulted in a 39-yard field goal and a 16-yard touchdown pass by Martinez to Rex Burkhead, giving them a 24-23 lead at the break.
In the third quarter, Nebraska orchestrated a 13-play drive that resulted in a two-yard touchdown run by Burkhead, extending the Cornhuskers’ lead to 31-23.
However, the Bulldogs unleashed a six-play, 79-yard drive that ended with a 49-yard touchdown grab by Conley. Then, Murray found Rhett McGowan at the goal line to complete the two-point conversion to tie the game at 31.
In the fourth, the Bulldogs put the game away as Murray found Marshall and Conley at the end zone for a 24- and 87-yard touchdown heaves.