The Norman Transcript

National Sports

December 11, 2013

Nebraska fans let down by Gator Bowl

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Georgia, like Nebraska, went 8-4 and struggled with injuries. Aaron Murray, who threw for more than 400 yards and five touchdowns in a 45-31 win over Nebraska last year, won’t play because of a knee injury.

The Peach State’s reaction to the matchup also was less than enthusiastic, said David Johnston, who hosts a morning sports radio show in Athens, Ga.

“It’s good it’s a New Year’s Day bowl game,” Johnston said, “but there was more of an interest in playing Nebraska last year.”

Each school has a ticket allotment of 12,750, about the same as for the Capital One Bowl last year. Nebraska sold about 4,000 tickets for that game and Georgia more than 10,000.

The Nebraska Alumni Association is selling a Gator Bowl package that covers hotel, game ticket, ground transportation and activities. No air transportation will be provided for the first time since the 2007 Cotton Bowl because of the high cost, said Shannon Sherman, senior director for communications.

Sherman said she expects alumni from Florida, Georgia and South Carolina to show up in high numbers.

The Georgia Alumni Association is not offering a travel package but will be coordinating “watch parties” across the nation, said assistant director of communications Elizabeth Elmore.

Bulldogs fans already know their way around Jacksonville. They travel there en masse every year for the game against Florida, dubbed the “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.” Mary Daniel, president of the 1,000-member Georgia Bulldog Club of Jacksonville, said if the annual Florida game registers a 10 on the excitement scale, the needle for the rematch with Nebraska sits at a 6 or 7.

“I think it’ll raise up to an 8 once we let it sink in,” Daniel said. “It’s not what we thought it would be, but it’s a bowl game. You hear teasing around here that Florida would take the Gator Bowl all day long.”

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