Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska Cornhuskers Win 2014 Gator Bowl 24-19

A full calender year after they last met, The Nebraska Cornhuskers and Georgia Bulldogs battled in the second annual “CornDawg” Classic. The location, field position, and key players were different, and so was the result. The Huskers overcame late game struggles to beat The Bulldogs 24 to 19 in The 2014 Gator Bowl. The Huskers walk away with an 9-4 season, extending Bo Pelini’s 9 win streak to six years.

Nebraska came out on the first possession of the game with quarterback Tommy Armstrong looking sharp with both his arm and feet. Ameer Abdullah took the Huskers into Bulldog territory with a first down before Nebraska stalled. That was followed by a terrible 17 yard punt from Sam Foltz.  Georgia was unable to capitalize on good field position and punted the ball back to the Huskers, who once again, did not return the kick.

Starting at their own 11 yard line, Nebraska was flagged for a false start that pinned them back at the 6 yard line, but after a holding penalty on The Dawgs Nebraska started on the 16. Basically, both teams struggled throughout the first quarter just has they have all season long.

But the football Gods have a sense of humor. After a Georgia field goal and failed Nebraska drive, Josh Mitchell recovered a muffed punt inside the Georgia 20 yard line. A few plays later Tommy Armstrong Jr. found Quincy Enunwa in the endzone for a touchdown. With 9:55 left in the second quarter The Nebraska Cornhuskers took a 7-3 lead in The 2014 Gator Bowl.

Those same football Gods struck back on the ensuing kickoff when Bulldogs kick returner  J.J. Green took the ball out of the end zone to the 48 yard line. After a big pass from Georgia quarterback Hudson Mason to Brendan Douglas for 37 yards the Dawgs settled for their second field goal of the day, closing the gap to a 7-6 Husker lead.

The Huskers almost extended their lead by another touchdown, but wide receiver Jamal Turner dropped a pass in the end zone. It was a perfect strike from Armstrong that Turner couldn’t hold on to. After a 46 yard field goal from Pat Smith, Nebraska took a 10-6 advantage. On the final drive of the half Georgia marched down field. The drive included an altercation that involved several Huskers, but there were no penalty flags to be found. The Dawgs kicked another field goal making it a 10-9 Husker lead heading into halftime.

Nebraska came out of the gates in the second half and immediately made an impact. Josh Mitchell intercepted a Hudson Mason pass and set up The Big Red inside Georgia territory. Tommy Armstrong Jr. led The Huskers on a quick scoring drive that was capped off by a one yard touchdown run by Ameer Abdullah, giving Nebraska a 17-9 lead with 10:08 remaining in the third quarter.

The Bulldogs offense came to life on the following drive until a failed halfback pass killed their momentum. Nebraska’s defense once again kept the The Dawgs out of the end zone holding Georgia to their fourth field goal of the game. With 6:32 left in the third quarter The Huskers had a  lead 17-12.

After a special teams penalty and a Tommy Armstrong Jr. fumble that almost led to a safety, Huskers offensive coordinator Tim Beck showed just how much fortitude he has. Instead of running the ball on the one inch line, Armstrong dropped back and found Quincy Enunwa on a 99 yard touchdown pass (a school record) that silenced the pro Bulldog crowd.  Nebraska led 24-12 with 4:48 remaining in the third quarter.

Nebraska’s first turnover on the day was costly. A Tommy Armstrong pass was intercepted by Shaq Wiggins on the Husker 39 yard line. Georgia smashed their way inside the 20 before Hudson Mason fumbled the football for a ten yard loss. On the following play Mason found running back Todd Gurley for a 27 yard touchdown pass that cut Nebraska’s lead to 24-19.

Georgia came close to taking the lead with just under five minutes left in the game, but were unable to convert a fourth and short in the red zone. When given a second chance on their next possession quarterback Hudson Mason was able to convert a fourth down with a quarterback sneak. Once again The Georgia Bulldogs drove down field, facing a defining fourth down call. With 31 seconds left Georgia was unable to convert a fourth and three, giving the Huskers the 24-19 win.




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