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Blog: Gearing up for the Gator Bowl

Let’s count down to the Georgia-Nebraska Gator Bowl (re)matchup with nine nuggets that you just might find intriguing:

–Georgia is playing its in first Gator Bowl since Jan. 1, 1989 (No. 1 song Poison’s Every Rose Has it Thorn), but Bulldogs first-year defensive line coach Chris Wilson is making his third Gator Bowl trip in four years. He was an assistant at Mississippi State for games against Michigan in the 2010 season and Northwestern last season.

“It’s definitely been a spot for me,” Wilson said. “Florida on Jan. 1, how much better does it get? …It’s one of the bowls that’s been around for a long time (since 1946) so they’ve got this down to a science. Just the quality of the hospitality, it’s unbelievable.”

–Georgia’s team interception leader has one. The last time that happened at the end of the season was 1961. As of now, there’s a six-way tie with Shaq Wiggins, Amarlo Herrera, Quincy Mauger, Corey Moore, Tray Matthews and Josh Harvey-Clemons, who is suspended for the bowl game.

–In the SEC bowl records, Chris Conley’s name can be found for a crazy high average per reception. It’s 68.0 for his 136-yard output on only two catches against Nebraska last season in the Capital One Bowl. Conley scored on touchdown pass plays of 49 and 87 in the 45-31 win last season.

–Interesting from the SEC is a listing of records since 2008. South Carolina has sneaked past Georgia in overall record since then:
Alabama 72-8
LSU 60-18
Florida 56-23
South Carolina 54-23
Georgia 54-25

–How tradition rich are Nebraska and Georgia?

Nebraska is tied for third in bowl appearances with 50 and Georgia is tied for fifth with 49.

Alabama leads with 61 followed by Texas with 52. Southern California also has 50 and Tennessee, which didn’t go bowling this year, also has 49.

–No pressure Hutson Mason. Remember Aaron Murray set an SEC bowl record with five touchdown passes against Nebraska last year.

–If you aren’t jacked up by the Georgia-Nebraska game, but need your football fix, there’s another bowl game starting at noon on Jan. 1. Enjoy the Heart of Dallas Bowl with North Texas and UNLV on ESPNU. Think North Texas has some pretty good special teams, no?

–For all the talk about Georgia’s issues on special teams, the lack of pop in the return game probably doesn’t get enough attention. Georgia is 119th in the nation in both kickoff returns (16.9) and punt returns (3.17). Mark Richt said during bowl practices both jobs will be “very wide open,” in the spring.

–Unless they already used it for Christmas gifts, Georgia players have some extra spending money in their pockets for the bowl trip. They each got a $400 gift card from the school as their bowl gift, the most allowed by the NCAA.

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