Published Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 9:22 pm / Updated at 9:31 pm
FOOTBALL
Bo says Huskers won’t lack for focus
Capital One Bowl: Nebraska vs. Georgia
When: Noon Jan. 1
Where: Florida Citrus Stadium, Orlando, Fla.
TV: ABC
Radio: 1110 AM KFAB

ORLANDO, Fla. — The way Nebraska’s players prepare for their Capital One Bowl game against No. 6 Georgia will reveal the true character of the team, NU coach Bo Pelini said.

The 23rd-ranked Huskers lost 70-31 to Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game, a stunning blowout that presumably could have lingering effects as the NU players soon return to the practice field to prepare for the Bulldogs.

But Pelini said at a press conference Thursday that his team is “absolutely” eager to play again. The fifth-year NU coach was in Orlando on Thursday, promoting the New Year’s Day matchup with Bulldog coach Mark Richt.

Bouncing back shouldn’t be an issue, Pelini said.

“Everybody who plays the sport of football or plays athletics goes through a tough time,” Pelini said. “The way you’re defined isn’t by what happened to you, it’s by how you react to it. Our guys are looking forward to the next opportunity to go out there and play.”

Richt’s team faces a similar challenge, having lost 32-28 to Alabama in the SEC title game. But a veteran team should respond accordingly, Richt said.

“We didn’t quite get to the mountaintop like we wanted to,” he said, “but these guys still have a lot of pride.”

Pelini and Richt agreed that neither squad will be distracted by Orlando’s attractions, while both were complimentary of the Capital One Bowl staff.

The coaches were each asked to comment on the opposing ground game, which will likely have a key influence on the final outcome in a few weeks.

Freshman running backs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall have combined to average more than 150 yards per game for Georgia, which ranks 42nd nationally in rushing (184.2). Pelini expects to see a physical approach, perhaps similar to styles the Huskers matched up against in the Big Ten.

The NU defense allowed 8.1 yards per carry in three losses this year.

“We’ll be ready for it,” Pelini said. “We won 10 games for a reason. It’s not easy to win 10.”

Georgia has an 11-2 overall record and a top-30 defense, but the Bulldogs have been vulnerable against the run lately. They’ve allowed more than 300 yards in each of their last three games.

That’s a concern heading into a bowl game against the nation’s eighth-best rush offense (254.5), Richt said.

“They’ve got some very dynamic players,” Richt said. “(Taylor) Martinez of course is a great quarterback, but they’ve got a couple I-backs that are outstanding as well.”

PHOTO GALLERY AND VIDEO »

 

< >
SPOTLIGHT »
2013 college football preview
View our 2013 college football preview, a 26-page, three-part section filled with coverage of the Huskers, Big Ten conference and more.
Big Red Bowl Retrospective
See complete historical results, game recaps and photo coverage from the Nebraska Cornhuskers college football bowl game appearances, from the 1941 Rose Bowl up to today.
Big Ten football recruits
The World-Herald's Big Ten recruiting database contains every football recruit that signed with a Big Ten school from 2002 to 2011, complete with color-coded interactive map representations, player information, high-concentrations recruiting clusters and more.
Devaney Center timeline
Check out a World-Herald timeline to see the evolution of memorable moments at the Devaney Center, complete with photos, videos, memorable quotes and more.
Follow OWHbigred on Twitter
Looking for the latest Husker sports news from The Omaha World-Herald and Omaha.com? Follow us on Twitter!
Husker scholarship distribution chart
Want to see how many scholarships NU has invested at each position? Wondering how the Huskers have appropriated their offers by class? Check out our handy chart to look further into how Bo Pelini has built his team.
Husker Signing Day 2013
The World-Herald's top-notch coverage of the Nebraska football's class of 2013, complete with videos, photos, articles, live recruit interviews, interactive components and more.
Husker turnovers: A slippery slope
Bo Pelini has coached 68 games at Nebraska. When NUís turnover margin is positive or even, the Huskers are 35-2. When they lose the turnover battle, theyíre 13-18. Why hasnít Nebraska joined the nationís elite? More than anything, itís turnovers.
Interactive: Bo Pelini's contract
View an interactive PDF of Pelini's revised contract signed by the NU football coach, complete with brief summaries of the legalese and insight into the document's finer points.
Interactive: Darin Erstad's contract (2012)
View an interactive PDF of NU baseball coach Darin Erstad's contract released in August 2012, complete with brief summaries of the legalese and insight into the document's finer points.
Interactive: Tim Miles' contract
View an interactive PDF of Tim Miles' contract signed by the Nebraska men's basketball coach on May 4, 2012, complete with brief legal explanations, comparisons to other Big Ten coaches and more.
Omaha.com's Big Ten coverage
Delivering the best news coverage and analysis of the Big Ten Conference, from Omaha.com and other top news outlets from around country.
Husker Recruiting: Changes shrink NU's sphere of influence
For decades, the Great Plains represented fertile recruiting ground for Tom Osborne's football program. Restoring that lost tradition won't be easy.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
Steam-A-Way Carpet Cleaning
$50 for 3 rooms and a Hallway up to 600 square feet
Buy Now
BRT ON TWITTER »
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT »
< >