Avoiding playing for the wrong thing
After losing to Wisconsin the way they did in the Big Ten Championship, Nebraska is excited to get back on to the field, but defensive coordinator John Papuchis says the Huskers need to play for the right reasons against Georgia.
“Obviously that wasn’t the way any of us wanted to end the regular season,” said Papuchis. “The thing that bothers me the most about it is the fact that over the course of the season, especially the last six weeks of the year, I thought we made a lot of strides on defense. As a team, I thought we did a lot of good things.
“We are all competitors. We are excited about the challenge that lies ahead. To me, it has little do with redemption and more with opportunity.”
A win over the Bulldogs would not only give Nebraska eleven wins, but a win over a top ten SEC opponent in one of the biggest non-BCS bowl games.
Georgia will try different looks to stop Martinez
After rushing for nearly 1,000 yards this season, Nebraska junior quarterback Taylor Martinez will be priority No. 1 for the Georgia defense on Tuesday.
"He's a great athlete and a great quarterback," Georgia defensive end Garrison Smith said.. "It's going to be hard to contain him. Everyone is just going to have to give it their all, 100 percent, and do our best to contain him, but it's hard against such a great player.”
Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham says it’s not just Martinez’s running ability that the Bulldogs will have to worry about – citing the fact that Nebraska threw for over 200 yards a game.
"Any time you have a guy that's a dual threat, he obviously opens up an extra gap you have to cover," Grantham said. "Guys have to be able to get off blocks and press things in the run game. In the throwing game, whenever you rush four guys there are six lanes, it's critical that you collapse the pocket outside-in and compress it, not only to keep him bottled, but also to affect his vision down the field. Disrupting the quarterback is as critical as sacking him and those are some things I think you have to do against a guy that can run it and throw it."
Rex wants to go out with a bang
After being a major contributor for four seasons, Nebraska senior running back Rex Burkhead will play in his final game in a Nebraska uniform on Tuesday. The Texas native was asked if the moment has set in yet?
“I’m sure it will set in more once the final minutes tick off the game,” said Burkhead. “I’m excited for the opportunity to play Georgia – a really good bang team. As Bo’s (Pelini) first recruiting class, we want to go out the right note and that’s what we are preparing to do.”
VIDEO COURTESY: KLKN-TV (Brett Edwards)