LINCOLN, Neb. - Nebraska offensive line coach Barney Cotton has been a college football coach for 23 years. He can tell when players are buckling down and have a goal.
“There is a hunger in their eyes. They want to play. This is the last time this team is going to play together and I can tell by the way they are working, they want to get that 11th win,” said Cotton. “We are going to have to go out and earn it, because Georgia is a really good opponent.
“We didn't earn it that night (Big Ten Championship). But what do you do? You correct your mistakes, you move on, you put a new stake in the ground and you chase after a bowl win.”
Cotton told reporters the majority of practices leading up to this week were concentrated on fixing their own mistakes, with no game planning for Georgia.
“Everything has been good on good. Ones versus ones. Twos versus twos. And three and fours against three and fours,” Cotton said Friday. “It's been split up pretty evenly. They have been physical and fast pace practices. We haven't been out for a long time, only scripting about 85 to 90 plays in an hour, so the guys have been really getting after it.”
When Cotton watches tape on Georgia, the offensive line coach sees a defense similar to the one they faced in South Carolina last year in the Capital One Bowl.
“They are very quick on the outside edges upfront and they are large inside,” said Cotton. “Their linebackers can run and they have very physical safeties and good cover guys. They are fast, physical, and very upper-level South East Conference defense.”
Georgia ranks No. 17 in scoring defense, allowing opponents to only score 18.8 points per game – nearly 17 points a game less than Nebraska's current scoring average.