The Huskers practiced on the campus of the University of North Florida in Jacksonville Friday morning in preparation for Wednesday's Gator Bowl match-up with the Georgia Bulldogs.
NU practiced in helmets, shoulder pads and shorts for just over two hours under cloudy skies and temperatures in the upper 50s. It was the first of four practices during their time in Jacksonville.
Coach Bo Pelini was happy with how his team started practice in Florida. “We had a detail-oriented practice that was a good on both sides of the football. Our guys were enthusiastic and had good tempo.”
The Huskers meet Georgia for a second straight year after playing the Bulldogs in the Capital One Bowl last January. “It’s a great opportunity for us (to play Georgia) and we have a lot of respect for them. We are really looking forward to the challenge.”
One of the marquee match-ups of next week’s game will be at running back as both Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah and Georgia’s Todd Gurley are each averaging over 100 yards per game on the season. Abdullah, a third-team AP All-American in 2013, ranks seventh in the country at 130.7 yards per game while Gurley ranks 30th nationally at 100.3 yards per game.
“They are different types of runners with different body types," said Pelini. "Ameer is a make-you-miss guy and Gurley runs more downhill. They are both very productive football players.
The Huskers planned to relax Friday afternoon at the Players Beach Party event, hosted near the Atlantic Ocean at Ponte Vedra Inn & Club, one of North Florida’s most exclusive resorts.
The Nebraska Athletic Department said it distributed just over 4,000 tickets for the New Year's Day game that kicks off at 11 a.m. Central Time on ESPN2. The university was given a 12,750 ticket allotment.
The Athens Banner Herald reported that ticket numbers for the Bulldogs in mid-December included 5,100 purchased by fans and 1,900 by the Georgia Athletic Association, including those for players’ families, band and administration. Georgia’s ticket allotment was 15,000.