>> Video Below: See Monday's press conference
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ORLANDO — Nebraska might be coming off a foundation-shaking loss, but Georgia coach Mark Richt and the Bulldogs didn't spend all December studying just the Huskers' 70-31 loss to Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game.
Richt said Monday he can even understand and sympathize with what happened to NU.
“It's one of those games that got away from them,” Richt said. “We had our game like that, too.”
Richt was recalling a 35-7 loss at South Carolina after Georgia had started out 5-0 and risen to No. 5 in the Associated Press poll. The Bulldogs fell behind 21-0 after 10 minutes, punctuated by the Gamecocks' third touchdown coming on a 70-yard punt return.
“They just started out hot, and they got momentum, and we never really did much to stop that momentum,” Richt said. “I think we finally got a score on the board and made it look halfway respectable, but we just got beat that day.
“I think that's what happened to them. They had played the very same team and beat them earlier in the year.”
Richt and Nebraska coach Bo Pelini took part in a Monday press conference before heading to the Capital One Bowl kickoff luncheon.
Both talked about motivation and bouncing back for their meeting Tuesday at noon CST. And Richt was asked if NU's loss to Wisconsin left Georgia with some obvious things it could exploit at Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium.
But the 12th-year Bulldogs coach said it wouldn't be fair to evaluate the Huskers on only that game, just as Nebraska couldn't study Georgia's only regular-season loss.
“If they just studied our South Carolina film, they'd probably be licking their chops,” Richt said. “But when you watch the rest of the season, we've had other performances a lot better than that, and they have as well.”
Nebraska's loss to Wisconsin stopped a six-game win streak, dropped the Huskers to 10-3 and cost them a trip to the Rose Bowl. Georgia was able to rebound from its South Carolina setback to rattle off six wins and get to 11-1 before a 32-28 loss to Alabama in the SEC title game kept the Bulldogs out of the BCS national championship game.
“I'm sure both teams will be tremendously motivated to go out and play,” Pelini said. “At the end of the day, it's competition. It's football. Every guy's going to be motivated because it's the next game. It's the next challenge.”
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>> This week's edition of "The Big Red Today Show":
>> NU coach Bo Pelini speaks to the media on Monday, Dec. 31:
>> UGA coach Mark Richt speaks to the media on Monday, Dec. 31:
>> Monday's Husker pep rally in Orlando, Fla.: