ORLANDO, Fla. — Aaron Murray wanted nothing more this week than to send Georgia’s senior class out with a game to remember.
The junior quarterback provided a record-setting performance to make it a reality.
Murray threw five touchdown passes to set a Georgia bowl record, including two in the fourth quarter, as the sixth-ranked Bulldogs beat No. 23 Nebraska 45-31 in the Capital One Bowl on Tuesday.
Murray shook off a pair of first-half interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown, and passed for 427 yards — also a Bulldogs’ bowl record — against the nation’s top-ranked passing defense. He was the game’s most valuable player on the way to earning his first bowl victory at Georgia.
Georgia (12-2) also reached 12 wins for the third time in school history.
“I don’t know what it’s like to head into an offseason with a win,” Murray said. “It’s a great feeling to get a win. It’s great for the seniors, who have meant so much to this team.
“They’ve done a great job of leading this team the whole season.”
Nebraska (10-4) lost its third consecutive bowl game, and finished the season with two straight woeful defensive performances. The Cornhuskers lost the Big Ten championship game 70-31.
The Cornhuskers led 24-23 at the half but committed two of their three turnovers in the final 30 minutes.
Taylor Martinez had two interceptions and two touchdown passes for Nebraska, and Rex Burkhead rushed for 140 yards in his final college game.
But Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said the efficiency of Murray and Georgia on third down (finished 12-for-17) was too much to overcome.
Nebraska dropped to 12-7 against SEC opponents in bowl games.
Nebraska’s offense finished with 443 total yards, 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. Damian Swann had both Georgia interceptions.
With his two sacks, Jones set a single-season record for with 14.5 sacks for the season. He will now decide in the coming days whether or not to enter the NFL draft.