It wouldn't be tough to imagine a dejected Georgia Bulldogs team taking the field on New Year's Day against Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl, considering how close the team was to the BCS title game. But, as Chip Towers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes, no one should expect the last time the Bulldogs played to have any impact on the next time.
Nebraska is coming off a 70-31 loss in the Big 10 title game while Georgia was just a few yards shy of beating Alabama in the SEC title game. As easy as it would be to expect the No. 7 Bulldogs to overlook the Cornhuskers, coach Mark Richt said Wednesday -- as the team returned for bowl practice -- there are many reasons not to expect a Georgia letdown:
"There are still things that are worth playing for," Richt said, before enumerating them. " Number one we get to play another football game. I think our guys enjoy playing football, so I think that in itself is going to be enough motivation. I think landing where we landed as far as the Capital One Bowl, being in Orlando in a warm weather climate, knowing we were going to play on Jan. 1 against an outstanding football team - I think all those things have been positive."
Georgia's recent bowl history isn't a great indication of how they'll come out and play. The Bulldogs lost last year in triple-overtime to Michigan State in the Outback Bowl and lost to a more-motivated Central Florida team in the 2010 Liberty Bowl. Both times the Bulldogs seemed to lack motivation. Quarterback Aaron Murray said those losses have just left him wanting a bowl win even more:
"Me, personally, I just want to win a bowl game," Murray said with a laugh. "I haven't won one as a starter, so I know I'm going to be working extremely hard to win this game. And this senior class has just meant so much for this program, for bringing us back to where Georgia needs to be. I know myself and all the other underclassmen want to send them off on the right note."