After arriving at the Sawgrass Marriott Resort yesterday afternoon, the Nebraska football team practiced on the campus of the University of North Florida for the first time on Friday morning in preparation of next week’s Gator Bowl with the No. 23 Georgia Bulldogs. The Huskers and Bulldogs are set to battle on Wednesday, Jan. 1, at 11 a.m. (CT) on ESPN2.
The Huskers practiced in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts for just over two hours under cloudy skies and temperatures in the upper 50’s. It was the first of four practices for the Huskers during their time in Jacksonville.
Head Coach Bo Pelini met with the media following practice and was happy with how his team started practice in Florida.
“We had a detail-oriented practice that was a good on both sides of the football,” Pelini said. “Our guys were enthusiastic and had good tempo.”
The Huskers will meet Georgia for a second straight year after playing the Bulldogs in the Capital One Bowl at the end of the 2012 season.
“It’s a great opportunity for us (to play Georgia) and we have a lot of respect for them,” Pelini said. “We are really looking forward to the challenge.”
One of the marquee matchups of next week’s game will be at running back, as both Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah and Georgia’s Todd Gurley are each averaging over 100 yards per game on the season. Abdullah, a third-team AP All-American in 2013, ranks seventh in the country at 130.7 yards per game, while Gurley ranks 30th nationally at 100.3 yards per game.
“They are different types of runners with different body types, Ameer is a make-you-miss guy and Gurley runs more downhill,” Pelini said. “They are both very productive football players.