Nebraska hangs on to beat No. 23 Georgia in Gator Bowl

Nebraska 24, No. 23 Georgia 19

Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014 6:19 PM
Last updated Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014 12:38 AM
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — From five yards away to five losses.

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Georgia tight end Arthur Lynch buries his head in the wet EverBank Field turf after  dropping a crucial pass from Hutson Mason. It came on a fourth-and-3 play from the Nebraska 16 with 25 seconds left in the game, ending Georgia's hopes for a comeback win.  GARY MCCULLOUGH/MORRIS NEWS SERVICE
GARY MCCULLOUGH/MORRIS NEWS SERVICE
Georgia tight end Arthur Lynch buries his head in the wet EverBank Field turf after dropping a crucial pass from Hutson Mason. It came on a fourth-and-3 play from the Nebraska 16 with 25 seconds left in the game, ending Georgia's hopes for a comeback win.

Georgia’s stepback season ended with a dreary, rainy 24-19 loss to Nebraska on Wednesday in the Gator Bowl to send the No. 23 Bulldogs into the off-season in a downbeat fashion.

The Bulldogs didn’t find the end zone until Hutson Mason hit tailback Todd Gurley on a 25-yard touchdown pass with 14:49 to play at EverBank Field, but before then the Bulldogs red zone issues and a backbreaking 99-yard touchdown pass put them in a 12-point hole.

Georgia (8-5) had chances to win late.

It had a fourth-and-2 at the Nebraska 14, but a pass to Rantavious Wooten was dropped as he was hit by safety Andrew Green with 4:42 left.

Then on a fourth-and-3 from the Nebraska 16, Masons’ pass to senior tight end Arthur Lynch over the middle was dropped inside the 10-yard line with 25 seconds to play.

Game over.

It might not have been the national title game or even a BCS bowl, but it was hard to know that by listening to an emotional Lynch afterwards.

The ending, he said, “will stick with him probably for the rest of my life. Whenever I think about my last game at Georgia, I’m not going to think about the plays I made, I’m going to think about the plays I didn’t make.”

Georgia came five yards away from playing for the BCS title last year when it lost in the SEC Championship Game to Alabama.

They followed that up with a 45-31 Capital One Bowl win against Nebraska, but the rematch went to the Cornhuskers as the Bulldogs lost their third bowl game in the past four.

“We had a really excellent chance of finishing the game on a high note,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “It just didn’t happen.”

Georgia couldn’t punch the ball in the end zone from the red zone and the defense couldn’t get the stops when given short fields at the Georgia 14 (after a Reggie Davis fumble on a punt return) and 38 (after a Mason interception on an overthrow).

The Bulldogs reached the Nebraska 10, 11, 21 and 10-yard lines but got its first 12 points off the foot from All-SEC kicker Marshall Morgan, who made field goals of 38, 28, 38 and 30 yards.

In six red zone trips, Georgia got three field goals, a touchdown and two fourth-down drops.

Nebraska (9-4) reached the nine-win mark for the sixth time in six seasons under coach Bo Pelini.

The Cornhuskers, who had beaten Big Ten teams that went combined 9-31 in conference play, made the play of the game on a third-and-14 from its own 1 in the third quarter.

Tommy Armstrong Jr. dropped back in the end zone and aired it out and the result was a 99-yard touchdown by Quincy Enunwa with 4:58 left in the third quarter when Georgia’s secondary was exposed again.

It was the longest pass play in Nebraska and Gator Bowl history.

When the final polls come out next week, Georgia will probably finish the season unranked for the first time since 2010 and just third time in Mark Richt’s 13 seasons.

The Bulldogs were hit hard this season by injuries and lost as many as five games for just the third time in 13 seasons for Richt.

“A lot of people who talk a lot of stuff about us should be shocked this year,” said cornerback ShaqWiggins. “We’re going to give the people what they want next year.”

Comments (21) Add comment
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fatboyhog
1944
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fatboyhog 01/01/14 - 07:41 pm
5
2
Nebraska didn't beat the Dogs

The officials beat the Dogs. Bobo beat the Dogs. The weather beat the Dogs. Too many injuries beat the Dogs. The Dogs lost because they have a young QB...or at least that's what I hear all the Dog fans saying.

YeCats
10766
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YeCats 01/01/14 - 09:00 pm
0
1
Not this one. Only, "ten

Not this one. Only, "ten years is enough". (That was three years ago.)

kiwiinamerica
942
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kiwiinamerica 01/02/14 - 12:14 am
0
0
Same old underachievers.....
Unpublished

Richt can't get it done. Time to face that now, folks. When the rubber meets the road, the toothless Dawgs always underwhelm.........

wildman
1121
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wildman 01/02/14 - 05:55 am
4
1
Nope

Georgia beat Georgia. Dropped balls and very poor coaching. If mark Richt is going to stay at Georgia he needs to get a pair and get rid of two coordinators. The defense is horrible, out of position, not knowing what to do, it goes on and on. The offense has scored a lot of points the last two years but the playing calling is predictable. Just not good. I am not a band wagon fan, just pointing out what I see as a somewhat knowledgeable football fan.

robert2410
1628
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robert2410 01/02/14 - 06:40 am
6
1
Mark Richt is a good man, I
Unpublished

Mark Richt is a good man, I have a lot of respect for the type of human being he is but Georgia will never win a national championship with him as coach. He just does not instill enough discipline among his players and he simply is not tough enough to beat the likes of Saban, Fisher, etc. etc.

d1zmljqg
933
Points
d1zmljqg 01/02/14 - 07:29 am
2
1
I agree

If Saban had been temporarily given the job after GA was selected to play Nebraska the outcome would have been another bowl victory. Saban wins these kind of matches. Instead of going down the field and coming out with just a field goal he and his teams drive down for touchdowns!

When a team has a pretty long drive, sputters then settles for a field goal we all yawn and no momentum is built up. Then the other team gets the kickoff, drives down for a touchdown our team is now behind and the opposing team has the momentum with a 4 point lead.

itsanotherday1
43125
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itsanotherday1 01/02/14 - 08:30 am
3
1
Amen

"very poor coaching."

DC and OC need to go, like YESTERDAY.

justthefacts
21832
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justthefacts 01/02/14 - 08:42 am
4
2
Coaching?

Many things go into making a play work. The most important one is execution. Coachs do not execute, players do.
Coach Bobo's play calling has resulted in averaging 38 pts a game. You think play calling is the issue? How about executing? If Lynch or Wooten catch the passes that were right in their hands, we wouldn't be talking about play calling would we?
It's about the players, not the coaches. Richt didn't fumble the punt on the 10.
BTW, D1z, I don't know what game you watched, but Neb. never took a kick and drove down the field for a TD. They had a 10 yrd drive, a 30 yrd drive and a 99.9 yrd screwup by the dumbest D-Backs who have ever played the game. Coach's fault, I guess.

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 01/02/14 - 12:06 pm
3
1
The Defense and special teams

The Defense and special teams looked frustrated and disconnected. When one guy made a mistake, instead of support, looked like team-mates were going off on the guy. The game was a disappointment and the coach is ultimately responsible for every single loss. 5 of them this year. When is enough? He can recruit and can develop a team to win a fair amount of games. I get it. I can't see that translating to a NCG, much less winning it. So I say let's move on and let Richt rule some other mediocre team.

justthefacts
21832
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justthefacts 01/02/14 - 10:02 am
3
0
Fans are Fans

I remember when no one in Tenn was happy that Fulmer was only averaging 10 wins a season. How did that work out? And Florida just moved on after Meyer left...yeah right. Be careful what you wish for.

soapy_725
43678
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soapy_725 01/02/14 - 10:11 am
1
0
How bout the dawgs. Making fun of Bama's no time left play.
Unpublished

How bout the dawgs. Making fun of Bama's no time left play.

soapy_725
43678
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soapy_725 01/02/14 - 10:12 am
1
0
With all of their excuses, they did not belong in a bowl game.
Unpublished

With all of their excuses, they did not belong in a bowl game.

soapy_725
43678
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soapy_725 01/02/14 - 10:13 am
1
0
UGA and Fruit Lopps. Only one belongs in a bowl.
Unpublished

UGA and Fruit Loops. Only one belongs in a bowl.

soapy_725
43678
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soapy_725 01/02/14 - 10:14 am
1
0
All these UGA fans down on BAMA. The laugh is on U, UGA
Unpublished

Roll Tide, Roll On!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

soapy_725
43678
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soapy_725 01/02/14 - 10:16 am
1
0
Love all of these want a be jocks who latch onto UGA for ego.
Unpublished

Dawg fan groupies. Herschelites. Want a bee's.

d1zmljqg
933
Points
d1zmljqg 01/02/14 - 11:34 am
1
0
justthefacts

I was talking in general. Say if we were playing Alabama we would need all the momentum we could get, therefore, I would go for the TD instead of settling for a FG, say on an opening drive, because, Alabama & Saban will be coming back atcha.

Wasn't it last year against Alabama early in the game GA successfully faked a punt and gained the momentum?

Who would not agree if the GA-NB odds are even at say 4-5 days before game time, but if Saban becomes GA coach odds go in GA's favor?

itsanotherday1
43125
Points
itsanotherday1 01/02/14 - 11:54 am
3
0
Uhhh, why you reckon Sabin's

Uhhh, why you reckon Sabin's players EXECUTE. Georgia's player quality is as good as any, look at the pro drafts. It is ALL about coaching. That is what they do; drill players until they DO execute. 38 points a game isn't squat when you are allowing more in the games that count.

YeCats
10766
Points
YeCats 01/02/14 - 11:58 am
3
0
odds...

I believe the spread was 9.5, Dawgs.

A Saben coached team would/should have covered. By a lot.

Alas, no chance in getting Saben, I thought for sure he was going to Texas.

justthefacts
21832
Points
justthefacts 01/02/14 - 12:02 pm
2
0
LOL

Let's get Saban!!!

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 01/02/14 - 12:11 pm
3
0
JTF, I'll take that chance.

JTF, I'll take that chance. with 5 losses, we aren't talking one extreme to the other. It's going to sting but going through a decade of hope only to end with 5 losses in 2013. I can handle it. Getting Kiffin involved was poison for the Vols. Nothing says UGA has to follow suit.

justthefacts
21832
Points
justthefacts 01/02/14 - 12:25 pm
1
3
David

Where was all this venom toward Richt went he beat two Top 10 teams and lost to two others by 8 pts with a team as beat up as UGA was. With Gurley, they do not lose to Mz or Vandy. The Auburn loss was a joke. The lost to Clemson was the result of a bad snap on a field goal. Do you think they would have lost yesterday if Murray had played? Come on.
All that is Richt's fault? OK, but, I just don't agree.

Just My Opinion
5630
Points
Just My Opinion 01/02/14 - 01:13 pm
3
0
d1, let me point out

d1, let me point out something glaringly obvious but not mentioned yet, especially in light of your comment against field goals.
With a few minutes left on the clock, Georgia went for it on 4th down rather than go for the field goal. We didn't make it. Had we kicked a field goal, the score would've been 24-22 Nebraska.
Georgia eventually got the ball back and drove down the field. If the score had been 24-22, you know Georgia would've kicked the winning field goal.
THAT is why they say you NEVER leave points on the field. Richt and Bobo showed they definitely were hungry, but they made the mistake in not kicking.
Oh well. It was a very fitting and characteristic way to end this season. Glad it's over!

justthefacts
21832
Points
justthefacts 01/02/14 - 02:39 pm
0
2
JMO

Not necessarily. Had they kicked the original field goal, they would have been kicking off instead of Neb taking possession on the 10 yrd line. Field position would have changed drastically. Who Knows? But, based on the past performance of the defense, would you place your trust in them or that Wooten could catch a perfectly thrown 3 yrd pass? I know my answer.

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 01/02/14 - 03:56 pm
3
0
Effectively, what you're

Effectively, what you're saying is, the coach cannot be held accountable until a magic number of losses is reached and then, it is their fault and not the players? You sure you want to use that?

Second, I supported CMR up to this point. That's why there was no venom, even in our loss to Auburn and Vandy. Enough is enough though. He should've got the W over Nebraska. He didn't and I can't make another excuse for it.

Had someone had the foresight, they should have recognized Lynch wasn't going to be the guy for that last play. He's heading to the draft and I know for a fact he had one eye on the ball and the other was creeping out looking for a defender about to level him. I don't blame Lynch, but i do have some blame to go around b/c they put him on the hot route. Should have anticipated his head would be elsewhere.

Yeah, mebbe he just flubbed it and missed and that's it. If so, we wouldn't be seeing 5 losses due to that. It's the coach, it's the coach, it's the coach.

d1zmljqg
933
Points
d1zmljqg 01/02/14 - 04:24 pm
2
0
I'm not against FGs

I think on an opening drive when the score is 0 to 0 and your team is inside the opponents 30 yard line a field goal doesn't create a lot of momentum. If the ball is turned over on downs at least the opposing team is 70+ yards away from a score.

I don't think NB was rattled when GA had scored on 3 field goals in the 1st half.

justthefacts
21832
Points
justthefacts 01/02/14 - 04:40 pm
2
2
What I am saying is

Injuries matter. I wonder if Texas A&M would have won without Manziel, or South Carolina without Shaw, Bama without A.J. or Auburn without Nick. Nope.
And while I respect your opinion, you thoughts on Lynch are just plain crazy. Are you suggesting Saint Nick Saban should not play A.J. because he is going pro?

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 01/02/14 - 05:13 pm
3
0
I don't think you can compare

I don't think you can compare the two. As a coach, you have to take every angle and every variable and every factor and make a decision that accounts for all of them. I think throwing to Lynch in that situation did not result in the best outcome. I'm not a coach though. But after 5 losses this year and so much talent that has played in Athens and moved on, we should have accomplished more. I'm tired of it. If you never expect more, you ain't gonna get it. Trust me.

KSL
129491
Points
KSL 01/02/14 - 07:32 pm
0
2
If there is one thing I have noticed

It is the ongoing attitude of UGA fans. Y'all take it so seriously. My family members do to. On Christmas Day, in my sister's house, my brother, brother in law, and nephew were dissing Tech. We are used to it. It has been going on for decades. We don't dignify their petty comments.

It has been a long time since Tech had a topflight football team. And they probably never will. Some of y'all proclaimed USC had no business playing in the SEC. I will not forget that.

I will finally get to the bottom of the intention of my point. 20+ comments on what went wrong and what needs to be done to fix it versus 2 comments, one by me lamenting I could not watch the game.

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