The Bulldogs celebrate their 45-31 win in the Capital One Bowl. (US Presswire)

Nebraska entered with the nation’s top-ranked pass defense (148.2 yards per game), but Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray shredded the Blackshirts after two early interceptions. 

Murray threw for 427 yards and five touchdowns, a Bulldogs bowl record. He repeatedly hit back-shoulder throws or led his wideouts perfectly. Chris Conley (136 yards, 2 TDs) and Tavarres King (104 yards, TD) were the biggest beneficiaries.

Georgia (12-2) scored the final 22 points to hand Nebraska (10-4) its third straight bowl loss.

Finally healthy, Cornhuskers running back Rex Burkhead ran for 140 yards and a touchdown and caught a scoring pass. Bulldogs true freshman Todd Gurley was just as impressive, capping his incredible season with 123 yards and a touchdown.

In the end, the Georgia defense finally stiffened and that was the difference. The Bulldogs blanked the Huskers on their final five drives.

When the game turned: It was 31-all starting the fourth quarter when Murray rolled right and threw to RB Keith Marshall’s back shoulder. The true freshman made a great adjustment to catch the ball, then tiptoed the sideline for a 24-yard score.

Highlight moments: Georgia S Shawn Williams blocked a first-quarter punt, and several Bulldogs had a chance to recover it in the end zone. The ball squirted away for a safety. … Nebraska LB Will Compton sniffed out a middle screen and intercepted Murray for a 24-yard TD to make it 14-9 Huskers. … Murray responded with a 75-yard scoring strike to Tavarres King. … Murray led Chris Conley perfectly for a 49-yard TD, sparking the third-quarter comeback, then hit Conley for an 87-yard TD on a slip screen in the fourth quarter.

Significance of Georgia's victory: The Bulldogs posted the third 12-win season in program history and likely clinched a top-5 finish in the national rankings. That should help console them a bit after they barely missed out on playing in the BCS Championship Game.

Significance of Nebraska’s loss: The Cornhuskers bounced back from an embarrassing performance in the Big Ten Championship Game. They acquitted themselves well against a more talented team. Still, after giving up 115 points in the final two games, coach Bo Pelini won’t have an easy offseason.

Top-shelf performances:

  • Georgia's Murray: 18 of 33 passing, 427 yards, 5 TDs, 2 INTs

  • Georgia CB Damian Swann: 2 INTs

  • Georgia’s Gurley: 25 carries, 123 yards, TD; ninth 100-yard rushing game

  • Georgia’s Conley: 87-yard TD catch was Bulldogs’ longest pass play this season

  • Nebraska’s Burkhead: 24 carries, 140 yards, TD; 4 catches, 39 yards, TD

  • Nebraska’s Compton: 24-yard INT return for TD

What they said: "I got it? Dang. Thanks for telling me." -- Georgia OLB Jarvis Jones, after learning from reporters he was credited with a sack when Taylor Martinez was flagged for intentional grounding, giving Jones a school-record 14.5 this season. He broke David Pollack's record of 14.

Numbers you should know: 2. Interceptions thrown by Murray in each of his three bowl games. … 5. TD passes thrown by Murray on Tuesday, a Georgia bowl record. ... 9. 100-yard rushing games by Gurley. … 239. Rushing yards by Nebraska. … 50 percent. Nebraska’s third-down conversion rate (8 of 16). … 70.5 percent. Georgia’s third-down conversion rate (12 of 17).

(For more on the Capital One Bowl, check out the Eye on College Football blog)

For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis from SEC bloggers Daniel Lewis and Larry Hartstein, follow @CBSSportsSEC.