ORLANDO, Fla. — It was both a thing of beauty and a show of force, and almost a game-changer for Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl.
The Huskers started the second half with a 13-play, 75-yard scoring drive to go ahead 31-23. It included 10 running plays (resulting in 58 yards), took 5:18 off the clock and had the Georgia defense gasping for air and taking a timeout.
Asked if Nebraska saw something in the first half that it decided to exploit, quarterback Taylor Martinez said: “It was just our same game plan that we came in with.”
Nebraska was coming at the Bulldogs again on its next possession — with the first five plays covering 47 yards — before I-back Ameer Abdullah lost a fumble at the Georgia 38.
“We just kept doing our thing,” NU guard Spencer Long said. “We were doing our thing all the way up until we started having some problems. We just made some mistakes.”
Adding to his record list
Martinez added to his list of school records Tuesday.
With 250 yards of total offense (204 passing, 46 rushing), the junior became the Huskers' single-season leader with 3,890. That eclipsed the 3,826 in 2008 by Joe Ganz, currently an NU graduate assistant who works with the quarterbacks.
Martinez also climbed to No. 8 on the Huskers' all-time rushing chart (2,858). His 2,871 passing yards this season stand as the third-highest single-season total by a Husker quarterback.
Rex Burkhead finished his career with 3,329 rushing yards, good for No. 5 on the all-time list. His 357 rushing yards in four career bowl games eclipsed the school mark of 349 by Dan Alexander from 1998 to 2000.
Compton gets first pick
Nebraska linebacker Will Compton said he knew the formation and the possible play before his 24-yard interception return in the first quarter. So he sat on it and waited for Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray.
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“I didn't think he was going to throw it,” Compton said. “We had a few guys there. And he threw it and, fortunately, I caught it.”
For Compton, his first career interception came in his 50th and final game. It also was the first defensive touchdown in a bowl game for Nebraska since Jason Peter returned a Virginia Tech fumble 31 yards for a score in the 1996 Orange Bowl.
Jones sets school marks
Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones didn't know he had topped the school's single-season record for sacks until someone asked about it in the postgame press conference.
Jones' two sacks allowed him to end the season with 14.5, topping the previous best of 14 set by David Pollack in 2002. Pollack was in Orlando as one of the members of the ABC broadcast crew.
— Rich Kaipust, Jon Nyatawa and Steve Beideck