This will be the second time since the 2008 season that Georgia makes the trip to Orlando for the Capital One Bowl. The last time the Dawgs played in Orlando, Georgia beat Michigan State 24-12 and broke the Big Ten conference’s four-year Capital One Bowl winning steak.
“We’ve been here before,” Richt said. “It’s as good, if not the very best bowl experience we’ve had a as team, as a program. I think our fans love the opportunity to come to Orlando.”
While the 2008 team may have ended their season in the same bowl game, Richt says this year’s team feels different.
“We didn’t as come as close to playing for a national championship in ’08,” Richt said. “This year, even though we didn’t win the game against Alabama, to get that close and to play the type of game we played,I think the Georgia people understand we’ve got a good team and we came maybe one play away from playing for it all.”
While some experts may call the Capital One Bowl as Georgia’s “plan B,” (behind playing for a national title) Richt says this team wants a win just as badly as any other game.
“We’ve got a lot of veterans on this team that came back for a special year,” Richt said. “These guys still have a lot of pride, a lot of great leadership skills. They want to go out here and leave our program on a high note and in a first class manner.”
Georgia will be charged with the challenge of trying to stop Nebraska’s triple-threat rushing attack of quarterback Taylor Martinez and running backs Rex Burkhead and Ameer Abdullah. The three have combined for 2,597 rushing yards this season and propelled Nebraska to the eighth best rushing attack in the country.
“It’ll be a big challenge for us, no doubt,” Richt said.“They’re running the ball for about, I think over 250 yards a game.”
Although Nebraska’s rushing attack is a concern for Georgia, Richt believes his defense, who ranked sixth in the SEC in total defense this season, is up to the task and has the talent necessary to stop the Huskers.
“In our backfield, we’ve got two of the best safeties in the country with Shawn Williams and Bacarri Rambo,” Richt said. “Sanders Commings and Branden Smith are great corners. Those are all seniors. We’ve got John Jenkins and Jarvis Jones and Alec Ogletree.”
“They all decided to stay for one more season to try and make a go at it.”