ORLANDO, Fla. — Georgia junior outside linebacker Jarvis Jones likely played his final college game during Tuesday's 45-31 win over Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl, and he set two Bulldogs records.
Jones sacked Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez late in the first quarter and late in the second quarter to give the 6-foot-3, 241-pounder 14.5 sacks and 24.5 tackles for loss this season. The previous single-season marks of 14 sacks and 23.5 tackles for loss were held by David Pollack, who set those standards in 2002 and helped ABC broadcast Tuesday's game.
"I think that's great," said Jones, who was unaware he had broken the records. "Not to take anything away from Nebraska, because they're a great program and made a lot of plays, but our coaches did a great job of halftime adjustment. We came out there and adjusted to what they were calling and executed. It's a 60-minute game and you have to fight all 60 minutes, and our guys believed in it.
"We just kept fighting and executing and having fun."
Jones had eight tackles overall, as well as a pass deflection and one quarterback hurry. He is the top overall prospect for the 2013 NFL draft according to longtime analyst Mel Kiper and has until Jan. 15 to announce his intention.
Fun for tailbacks
Georgia had a new offensive wrinkle for the new year, as freshman tailbacks Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall got direct snaps out of the wildcat formation with quarterback Aaron Murray lined up at receiver.
Marshall made his first start of the season, and the two tailbacks were in the game at the same time during the opening possession. Gurley rushed for 125 yards on 23 carries and had a 24-yard touchdown on a direct-snap counter run that put the Bulldogs up 23-14 early in the second quarter.
"Nebraska does a good job of involving their safeties in the run game, and they lead their team in tackles, so we wanted to remove a guy from the box," Bulldogs offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. "Somebody has to go out there and cover Murray. The one by Gurley for the touchdown was good, but it was just something to give them another look."
Marshall rushed eight times for 36 yards and wasn't overly effective in the wildcat, but he loved the new look. Bobo introduced the formation during the on-campus portion of bowl practice.
"I love being back there," Gurley said. "I told Coach Bobo at the beginning of the season to put it in. We had been practicing it a lot the past few weeks, but we didn't know if we were going to run it a lot."
Said Marshall: "I don't know if this was a one-game thing or a next-year thing, but I loved it."
What's that tally?
Georgia's win over the Cornhuskers gave the SEC a 12-9 advantage over the Big Ten in the Capital One Bowl since the two leagues started pairing up annually at Orlando in the 1992 season.
The SEC improved to 10-8 over the Big Ten at the Outback Bowl with South Carolina's 33-28 defeat of Michigan on Tuesday. The Tampa-based bowl started pairing the SEC and Big Ten in 1995.
Mississippi State lost to Northwestern in Tuesday's Gator Bowl, but the SEC still holds a 2-1 lead over the Big Ten since that Jacksonville pairing began in 2010.
Odds and ends
Georgia junior receiver Rhett McGowan, a former walk-on from Calhoun, Ga., got the first start of his career. ... After hoping to play one last time after midseason ankle surgery, senior defensive end Abry Jones did not dress out Tuesday. ... The Bulldogs will open their 2013 season at Clemson, a 25-24 winner over LSU in Monday night's Chick-fil-A Bowl.
David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...