ORLANDO, Fla. -- Quarterback Aaron Murray threw for five touchdowns and more than 400 yards against the nation's No. 1 pass defense to end his own bowl drought and help Georgia win a 45-31 shootout against Nebraska in Tuesday's Capital One Bowl.
(Photo by Sonny Kennedy/Special to Dawgs247)
Trailing 31-23 in the third quarter, the Bulldogs scored the game's final 22 points to break free late. The win gives Georgia (12-2) its third 12-win season in school history and all but assures the Bulldogs will finish the season ranked in the top five nationally. Nebraska finishes 10-4.
Despite throwing two interceptions including a pick-six on two of UGA's first three possessions, Murray wound up firing deep-ball touchdowns of 29, 75, 49, 24 and 87 yards, the last of which was a screen to Chris Conley that went the distance against a Nebraska blitz, giving Georgia a 45-31 lead with 11:03 remaining that finally provided some distance in a close contest.
Murray finished 18-of-33 for 427 passing yards (tying a career-high) against a Nebraska defense that ranked No. 1 nationally against the pass entering this game. Receivers Tavarres King (3-104) and Conley (2-136) each topped 100 receiving yards, while redshirt freshman Justin Scott-Wesley stepped in with three catches for 67 yards.
In what looked to be a shootout from the start, the teams combined for 323 offensive yards in the first quarter and 564 in the first half.
Three touchdowns were scored during a 38-second stretch in the first quarter, two of them Nebraska's way, with the second on a 24-yard interception return by Will Compton. Georgia answered with a 75-yard pass to Tavarres King 11 seconds later and the race was on.
After Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah lost a key third-quarter fumble to end a promising drive against an out-of-sorts UGA defense, Keith Marshall caught a 24-yard touchdown on the opening play of the fourth quarter, giving Georgia its first lead of the second half at 38-31.
Marshall got the start at tailback for Georgia, but Todd Gurley wound up topping 100 yards rushing before the end of the third quarter, scoring on a 24-yard touchdown run.
Defensively, Georgia cornerback Damian Swann picked off two passes, including a deep ball in the fourth quarter that all but ended Nebraska hopes.
Linebacker Jarvis Jones collected two sacks to break UGA's single-season sack record and reach 14.5 for the season.
More to come from the Florida Citrus Bowl ...