ORLANDO, Fla. —
Richt, trailed by questions about his team's focus following its loss to Alabama in the SEC championship game, thinks his team made a statement.
"We wanted to win this game to prove to ourselves that we are one of the better teams in the country," he said. "I think our guys did a good job of sucking it up when they were tired. ... But when you make a big play here and there, it gives you a little more energy as well. ... We made enough big plays at the right moment."
Nebraska finished with 443 yards of total offense, but the Bulldogs' defense was stingy when it needed to be.
They sacked Martinez five times, with junior All-American linebacker Jarvis Jones notching two to finish with a record 14.5 for the season. Damian Swann had both of Georgia's interceptions.
Murray found Keith Marshall free near the sideline for a 24-yard touchdown pass that gave Georgia a 38-31 lead with 14:52 to play in the game.
Following a Nebraska punt, Murray then hit Chris Conley for a short pass over the middle and he outran the Cornhuskers defenders for an 87-yard score.
Conley also scored on a 49-yard touchdown catch that tied the game in the third quarter.
Nebraska clung to a 24-23 lead at the half, taking back the advantage late in the second quarter on a 16-yard strike from Martinez to Burkhead.
After a pair of early turnovers, Murray seemed to be getting Georgia's offense back on track, as the Bulldogs punctuated a four-play, 38-yard drive with a 24-yard touchdown run by Todd Gurley to make it 23-17.
Both Bulldogs' turnovers came on Murray interceptions as the nation's top-ranked passing defense crowded Georgia's receivers and disguised its coverage schemes.
Gurley helped open things up, though, rushing for 81 yards in the opening 30 minutes.