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Originally published January 1, 2014 at 5:45 PM | Page modified January 1, 2014 at 9:00 PM

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Nebraska uses 99-yard pass play to defeat Georgia 24-19 in Gator Bowl


The Associated Press

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Facing third-and-14 at the 1, Nebraska had a choice: Sneak the ball in hopes of getting a little extra room to punt or take a shot deep.

The Cornhuskers chose to throw — and did they ever wing it.

Tommy Armstrong Jr. connected with Quincy Enunwa for a 99-yard touchdown strike in the third quarter, and Nebraska held on to beat No. 23 Georgia 24-19 in the rain-soaked Gator Bowl on Wednesday.

“I know one thing: There will never be a longer play in the history of college football than that one,” Cornhuskers coach Bo Pelini said. “That was a big play for us.”

Equally big were Georgia’s failures down the stretch. The Bulldogs (8-5) dropped two fourth-down passes in the closing minutes, helping Nebraska (9-4) close out its first bowl victory since 2009.

Nebraska, playing in its 50th bowl, also ended a four-game losing streak against teams from the Southeastern Conference. The streak included a 45-31 loss to Georgia in the Capital One Bowl last season.

The rematch was much different.

Nebraska did a solid job against running back Todd Gurley, who ran for 125 yards and a touchdown last year. Gurley finished with 86 yards on the ground.

Enunwa was named the game’s Most Valuable Player — and for good reason.

He recorded the longest play in Nebraska and Gator Bowl history.

After a timeout to discuss options on third and long, Armstrong dropped back and heaved the ball as far as he could to Enunwa, who was streaking wide open down the left sideline. Georgia cornerback Shaq Wiggins let Enunwa go but got no safety help. Quincy Mauger had a chance to tackle Enunwa but bounced off him just past midfield.

Enunwa coasted the rest of the way.

“It was kind of just one of those calls where you don’t have too many options out there, stuck on your own 1-yard line,” Enunwa said. “Luckily our coaches trust in us as playmakers.”



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