Week 8 fantasy football chat:

Murray, Georgia hustle past Huskers

The SportsXchange

ORLANDO, Fla. -- If Aaron Murray played his final college football game Tuesday, he made the New Year's Day showing a memorable one.

Murray passed for 427 yards and five touchdowns, and No. 7 Georgia rallied for a 45-31 victory over No. 16 Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl at Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium.

Murray, a junior quarterback considered a first-round draft prospect, finished 18-for-33 with two interceptions. He threw touchdown passes on three of four possessions in the second half, as Georgia (12-2) wiped out a 31-23 deficit against the nation's No. 1 passing defense.

"Ahead of this game, we knew we had a challenge," said Murray, who didn't offer much insight into his looming decision to turn pro. "We knew they were pretty talented when it came to going against the pass, but we felt great with our game plan. We've been repping it for a month now."

Nebraska entered the game allowing 148.2 passing yards a game, the best mark in the nation. But Murray, who was spot-on on his deep ball, threw touchdown passes of 29, 75, 49, 24 and 87 yards.

"Those are plays we made most of the year. We were there to make plays," Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said. "We didn't play the ball today for whatever reason. That's something we've got to get addressed."

Murray's last scoring pass of 87 yards came when Chris Conley caught a short screen pass for a couple of yards and ran the rest of the way, with no defenders within 20 yards of him. The touchdown with 11:03 remaining was the longest passing play in Georgia bowl history, and the longest ever in the Capital One Bowl.

"We wanted to win this game to prove to ourselves that we are one of the better teams in the country," Georgia coach Mark Richt said. "I think our guys did a good job of sucking it up when they were tired. But when you make a big play here and there, it gives you a little more energy as well. We made enough big plays at the right moment."

Nebraska (10-4) entered the game on heels of an embarrassing 70-31 loss to Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship game, when the Badgers ran for 539 yards and didn't attempt a pass in the second half.

Georgia, though, did most of its damage through the air, although freshmen running backs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall combined to run for 161 yards.

Nebraska, led by senior running back Rex Burkhead's 179 yards of total offense, opened the second half on a 13-play, 75-yard scoring drive that lasted 5:18. Burkhead's 2-yard touchdown run gave the Huskers a 31-23 lead.

Georgia responded in five plays behind Murray, who hit Conley on a 49-yard touchdown pass off a play-action pass.

Murray delivered a two-point conversion strike to Rhett McGowan to tie the game 31-31 with 7:26 remaining in the third quarter.

Nebraska, sticking with the run, drove to the Georgia 39-yard line, but Ameer Abdullah fumbled after converting on third-and-1, and Georgia recovered.

Abdullah said he didn't think he fumbled, and Pelini was upset the play wasn't at least reviewed.

"I thought right there momentum shifted," Pelini said, "but we obviously still had an opportunity to win the game."

The Bulldogs went three-and-out, but they got the ball back and drove 74 yards in six plays, with Murray hitting Marshall on a 24-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the fourth quarter, giving Georgia a 38-31 lead.

Nebraska led 24-23 after an entertaining, see-saw first half.

Georgia had a 9-0 lead after blocking a punt for a safety and scoring on Murray's 29-yard touchdown pass to Arthur Lynch on the ensuing drive after the free kick.

Nebraska bounced back to take a 14-9 lead. Taylor Martinez threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Jamal Turner, and Will Compton scored on a 24-yard interception return after perfectly reading a Murray screen pass.

Nebraska's first lead was short-lived. Murray, on a deep play-action pass, delivered a perfect strike to a well-covered Tavarres King for a 75-yard touchdown, putting Georgia back in front, 16-14.

Gurley's 24-yard touchdown run out of the wildcat formation gave Georgia a 23-14 lead, but Brett Maher kicked a 39-yard field goal for Nebraska, and Martinez hit Burkhead over the middle off a play-action pass for a 16-yard touchdown for a 24-23 lead with 4:43 remaining in the first half.

Conley wound up gaining 136 yards on two catches, both for touchdowns. King finished with three receptions for 104 yards.

Martinez completed 16 of 27 passes for 204 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

NOTES: Murray set a school passing record for most yards in a season, finishing with 3,893. He set also set the school single-season record with 36 touchdown passes. ... Compton's touchdown came on the senior linebacker's first career interception. ... The 30 points scored in the first quarter were a Capital One Bowl record. The previous high was 21 in the 1997 Tennessee/Northwestern game.
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