Dawgs Look to Get 2013 Going Right
This story originally published on DawgPost.com
Aaron Murray
Athens Banner Herald
Posted Jan 1, 2013


ORLANDO - Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez has watched his share of Georgia film to prepare for today’s Capital One Bowl.

The dual-threat Martinez has seen other mobile quarterbacks go up against the Bulldogs.

Florida and South Carolina pops in my head,” he said. South Carolina's Connor Shaw rushed for 78 yards and a touchdown, including on a 7-yard touchdown run on the read option, in a 35-7 Gamecocks win. Florida’s Jeff Driskel had minus-four yards rushing in a 17-9 loss, a game in which he was sacked five times for 40 yards.

“We’ll see what happens,” Martinez said of what he can do against Georgia.

The junior is set to make his 39th career start, moving past Eric Crouch for most starts by a quarterback in school history. “He’s been in a lot of big games,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “He’s a veteran who can make things happen when they’re not there so to speak. They design a lot of things to make sure that he’s running the ball. He’s a very athletic runner. …We haven’t had the greatest success defending those types of guys but not many people have done a good job defending him either.”

Martinez has rushed for 973 yards and a team-high 10 touchdowns. He’s completed 62.2 percent of his passes with 21 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

“He’s elusive, he’s got quickness to him, he can shake guys, he can run,” Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said.

“I can’t really compare him to anybody we’ve played this year, but he’s a good athlete,” Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree said. “To me, he’s more like the dude from Texas A&M.” That would be Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel. Martinez has an unorthodox throwing motion, but, “I will say this when he’s on the move, he’s pretty accurate and that’s the mark of a good quarterback when things break down he can scramble and find ways to get the ball down the field and make some plays,” Grantham said.

“He’s a competitive guy, a guy who wants to play well every single time out,” Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said. “That’s one of the keys to him. He’s always been able to stay at an even keel. …He knows he has to play at a high level, but I think he’s done that. He’s had a good year, but I think this will be a really good opportunity for him leading up to next year.” Said Martinez: “We’re a really good offense this year. If we keep doing what we’re doing, I think we can beat Georgia.”

Richt touches on issues after the bowl

Georgia’s coaches may have a good feel for whether underclassmen considering leaving for the NFL will go or stay, but Richt didn’t want to talk about that much on Monday on the eve of the game

“I don’t know for sure,” Richt said. “Nobody’s told me point blank one way or the other what they’re going to do.”

Linebackers Jarvis Jones and Alec Ogletree, quarterback Aaron Murray and nose guard Kwame Geathers will make their intentions known before the Jan. 15 deadline.

Richt will spend much of next week in Nashville for the American Football Coaches Association convention. He’s now on the board of trustees and is also speaking at the convention.

“I’ll be at the convention more than I usually am,” Richt said. Some of the coaches will also be there. “Some of them just take the time to decompress a little bit and spend time with the family. I kind of leave it up to the coaches.”

Georgia hopes to hire a new defensive line coach soon, but Richt still isn’t planning on naming a special teams coordinator. He reiterated that he planned to take a more active role with the kickers.

“I do plan to educate myself better on the fundamentals of doing it,” he said.

This and that

Georgia donated about 1,000 of its unsold tickets from an allotment of 12,500 to local charities, according to athletic director Greg McGarity. The school sold about 10,000 and is selling what’s left in Orlando. …Senior defensive end Abry Jones will be “dressed and ready” to play as he tries to come back following ankle surgery, Richt said. “I’m just not sure what his role’s going to be,” he said. …Nebraska is on guard for Georgia’s ability to create turnovers. “We’ve shown our guys on tape that they’re going to hold guys up, digging after the ball, and we have to do a great job of hanging on to the football,” said Tim Beck, Nebraska’s offensive coordinator. “I feel like offensively that’s been our Achilles’ heel all year. We hurt ourselves more consistently in games than defenses do. We turn the ball over a lot and put our defenses in bad situations and give up scores at times. We have to play well and make sure we’re not doing those things.”


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