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Gator Bowl: Preview, Predictions, TV info

By Tom Fornelli | College Football Writer

What: TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl

Who: Nebraska (8-4, 5-3 Big Ten) vs. Georgia (8-4, 5-3 SEC)

When: Wednesday, Jan. 1, 12 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

Where: EverBank Field (77,511), Jacksonville, Fla.

Opening Line: Georgia -9

What matters: This is a rematch of last year's Capital One Bowl, which saw Georgia beat Nebraska 45-31, though Nebraska did hold a lead in the third quarter before Georgia pulled away. Of course, the major difference between this year's game and last year's -- besides the distance between Orlando and Jacksonville -- is that neither team will have its starting quarterback, as both Taylor Martinez and Aaron Murray will be out with injuries.

Who matters: With both quarterbacks on the shelf, the running backs of both squads will step into the spotlight. Georgia's Todd Gurley finished the season with 1,247 total yards and 15 total touchdowns even though he missed three games during the season. Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah helped keep the offense afloat this season with 1,800 total yards and 10 touchdowns of his own. Both players will likely see a lot of carries during this game.

Matchup question: How well will Hutson Mason perform against this Nebraska defense? Mason had a rather mediocre game against Georgia Tech in his lone start after replacing Murray, but he'll have a month to prepare for this game as a starter. The Nebraska defense got off to a terrible start this season but improved quite a bit before the end of the season and had one of the best pass rushes in the country, finishing 16th nationally with 2.83 sacks per game, and its sack rate of 10% was good enough to rank 7th nationally.

Prediction: Georgia 31, Nebraska 21

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