In their respective conference championship games, the Georgia Bulldogs came up 5 yards short of competing for the national title versus the Crimson Tide. The Nebraska Cornhuskers had 70 points hung on them by a 5 loss Wisconsin Badgers team. So on this college football holiday, what would happen in the Capital One Bowl? They day belonged to UGA, so thus will the news and notes in this post.
Bulldogs Finish Year 12-2: With today’s 45-31 victory, the fifth-ranked Bulldogs under Mark Richt become only the third team in school history to register at least 12 wins in a year. They join the 1980 national champions (12-0) and the 2002 SEC champions (13-1). Georgia improved to 27-18-3 in bowl games in this their record 16th consecutive trip to the postseason. Georgia is 4-1-1 in bowl games in Orlando. Also, Georgia had its eighth game this year with at least 40 points and finishes with a school record 529 points this year, an average of 37.8, also a school record.
*Bowl Records: Georgia’s 45 points was a bowl record, the old mark was 44 in the 2009 Independence Bowl victory over Texas A&M (44-20). The six TDs today tied a bowl record, also by the 2009 team in the aforementioned bowl and the 1942 Orange Bowl.
*Jarvis Jones Sets 2 Records: In the first half, junior OLB Jarvis Jones collected two sacks to give him a school record 14.5 for the year (the old mark was 14 by David Pollack in 2002 who is here today broadcasting for ESPN). Jones also set a school-record for a season with 24.5 tackles for loss, breaking Pollack’s record of 23.5 in 2002. Jones had a team-high 7 tackles at the half. Jones missed a pair of games this season due to injury and the final two games of the regular season came against spread-option offenses. Jones finished with eight tackles.
*Defense: After allowing 24 points in the first half, the Bulldog defense limited Nebraska to seven points and 197 yards of total offense in the second half, and the Cornhuskers got 75 yards and the TD on their first possession in the second half. The leading tackler was junior Alec Ogletree with 13, 3 TFL and a sack. Senior Shawn Williams had 11 including a blocked punt.
Records Galore For Bowl MVP Aaron Murray: Junior QB Aaron Murray finished 18-for-33 for 427 yards and a school record-tying 5 TD passes. The 5 TDs and 427 yards plus 87-yard TD pass were all Georgia bowl records. The 427 yards was the fourth most in a game in school history. In the first half, Murray was 11-for-23 for 195 yards with 2 TDs, 2 INTs. Following a safety on a blocked punt, Georgia compiled a 10-play, 80-yard drive for a TD, capped by a 29-yard TD pass to tight end Arthur Lynch. Murray set the single-season Passing Yardage Record on that play, giving him 3,544, eclipsing Eric Zeier’s 3,525 yards in 1993. Later in the first quarter, Nebraska got a pick-six to take a 14-9 lead with 4:15 and erase a 9-0 deficit. Murray came right back to throw a 75-yard TD pass to senior Tavarres King for a 16-14 lead. That big play gave Murray the single-season Total Offense Record with 3,548. The old mark was 3,499 by Matthew Stafford in 2008. The 75-yard TD completion was the longest of the year until later in the contest. Murray connected with sophomore Chris Conley for a 49-yard TD strike and then a two-point conversion to sophomore Rhett McGowan to tie the game at 31 with 7:26 left in the 3rd. It was a career-long catch for Conley. Georgia is now 3-4 on 2-point conversions this season.
Murray found freshman TB Keith Marshall for a 24-yard TD pass to make it 38-31 in the 4th. It set several marks including a bowl record 4 TD passes; tied his single season TD passes mark with 35 and established a TD-responsibility record for a season with 38. He was not done as he hooked up with Conley for an 87-yard TD bomb, the longest in Bulldog bowl history to make it 45-31 with 11:03 left. It was the longest TD pass in school history since a record 93-yarder in 2003 from David Greene to Tyson Browning at LSU. Murray’s tied a Georgia record for TD passes in a game. For the season, Murray finishes with 3,893 yards, 36 TD passes, completing 249-of-388.
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