- Mitch Sherman, ESPN Staff Writer
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Top performers for Nebraska in its 24-19 TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl victory over Georgia on Wednesday:
WR Quincy Enunwa: You can’t overlook the game’s MVP, though there are many strong candidates for the Huskers in their ninth victory of the season. Enunwa lunged to catch a four-yard touchdown from Tommy Armstrong Jr. in the second quarter to give Nebraska a lead it never relinquished. The play of the game -- and likely his career -- came in the third quarter, with the Huskers backed up just an inch or two from the goal line on third down. Enunwa got free and snagged Armstrong’s throw near midfield. The senior from Moreno Valley, Calif., sprinted home for a 99-yard touchdown. With his 12th TD catch of the year, Enunwa broke Johnny Rodgers’ 42-year-old record.
IB Ameer Abdullah: If Wednesday served as Abdullah’s final game at Nebraska, he went out in style -- just like Enunwa. The junior from Homewood, Ala., rushed 27 times for 122 yards and one score, reaching triple digits for the 11th time this season. Abdullah was the force that kept the Huskers afloat all season, and it was no different in Jacksonville. Even on drives that ended in punts, Abdullah often dug Nebraska out of poor field position. His season rushing total of 1,690 yards ranks fourth in Nebraska history, remarkable considering the slew of injuries suffered on the offensive line this season and the absence of QB Taylor Martinez for all but four games. Abdullah, if he turns down a jump to the NFL, could become the first three-time 1,000-yard rusher ever at Nebraska next season.
CB Josh Mitchell: What a time for the junior from Corona, Calif., to turn into a ball-hawking specialist. Nebraska would not have beaten the Bulldogs without the two turnovers secured by Mitchell. He pounced on Reggie Davis’ second-quarter punt-return muff after four Nebraska possessions produced four punts. The first turnover set up a 14-yard scoring drive. Mitchell intercepted Georgia quarterback Hutson Mason in the third quarter, returning the football four yards to the Georgia 38 to set up a seven-play drive for the Huskers’ second touchdown. The positive turnover margin (plus-1) came after a putrid October and November in which Nebraska was minus-16 in the category, worst in the nation. It must correct the problem in 2014. Mitchell’s New Year’s Day performance serves as a good start.