Nebraska outplayed the Georgia Bulldogs on New Year's Day, 24-19, in the Gator Bowl before a packed stadium and a national ESPN television audience.The Husker defense was impressive when it needed to be, holding Georgia to just 12 points on six trips inside the red zone. The Blackshirts forced four field goals and stopped Georgia twice on fourth down inside the 20-yard line during the final five minutes.
Nebraska defenders also recovered a fumbled punt in the second period, setting up the Husker's first touchdown. Junior cornerback Josh Mitchell covered the ball on the Georgia 14-yard-line.
Mitchell had a big game. He also picked off a pass in the third quarter that set up another Nebraska TD and gave the Huskers a 17-9 lead.
Nebraska stopped Georgia on 13 times on third down plays.
Senior receiver Quincy Enunwa gave the Huskers a commanding 12-point lead in the third quarter with a 99-yard touchdown catch.
Enumwa also had the 5-yard TD reception in the second quarter. He finished the game with four receptions (out of only six Husker complete passes) for 129 yards and he was named the game's most valuable player.
Despite the 12-point cushion, the Huskers couldn't close the door. On the Husker's next possession, Tommy Armstrong Jr. tossed an interception at the Nebraska 39 and Georgia drove into the end zone to make the score 24-19.
Georgia drove inside the Husker 20 twice in the final minutes and could have won the game, but they could not convert on crucial fourth downs and came away empty.
Georgia had more total yards than Nebraska, 416-307, most of them through the air, where the Bulldogs gained 320 yards.
On the ground, Nebraska's junior I-back Ameer Abdullah rushed 27 times for 122 yards, including a one-yard TD in the third quarter. Abdullah increased his season rushing total to 1,690, the fourth-most rushing yards in a season in school history.
Thanks to Abdullah, Nebraska had the advantage in the ground game, running for 144 yards to 96 for Georgia.
The win was Nebraska's ninth of the season. Although it might seem like a relatively lackluster year to Husker fans, it was the team's sixth straight nine-win season, which puts the Huskers in rare company.
Alabama and Oregon are the only schools in the nation to win at least nine games in each of the last six seasons.
Head Coach Bo Pelini joined Tom Osborne and Oklahoma Coach Barry Switzer as the only head coaches to win at least nine games in their first six seasons.
Pelini is now 4-3 in bowl games. The win evened Nebraska’s all-time bowl record at 25-25.