Published Thursday, December 12, 2013 AT 5:23 PM / Updated at 5:25 PM
Pelini expects Husker fans to travel well for bowl
Jon Nyatawa Omaha World-Herald

In an appearance at the Gator Bowl announcement press conference in Jacksonville, Fla., Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said he expects to see plenty of Huskers around town by New Year’s Day.

The Huskers face off against Georgia on Jan. 1 — a rematch of last season’s Capital One Bowl.

“Our fans travel well. They have always traveled well,” Pelini said. “Being able to come to a great city like this, our fans will be here. Between our fan base and Georgia’s fan base, there will be some electricity in the air when we get together on (Jan. 1).”

Pelini went on to say that he thinks Nebraska fans appreciated “the way our football team played this season.”

A couple quick notes from the press conference are below. Georgia coach Mark Richt was also on hand Thursday in Jacksonville.

>> Injury update from Pelini: Senior quarterback Taylor Martinez is “doubtful” and redshirt freshman quarterback Tommy Armstrong is “probable.”

>> The Huskers will return to practice “this weekend and heading into next week,” Pelini said. He’s been out on the road recruiting over the past few days.

>> Speaking of recruiting… Pelini indicated that he’s encouraged about the impact that Nebraska’s bowl appearance in Jacksonville could have on the Huskers’ ability to recruit northern Florida — mostly in terms of building relationships. “Every little bit helps in that regard,” Pelini said. He also said NU coaches have “always had a great reception” in the southern portion of the state, particularly the Miami area.

>> “Coach Pelino.” That was how Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown accidentally referred to the NU coach after presenting Pelini with a key to the city. … Oh, those politicians. They can legislate, but get them ad-libbing about sports and it usually results in some kind of unintentional humor.

>> Richt half-joked that he hopes Nebraska has the sideline in the sun this time around. The Huskers were in the shade during Georgia’s 45-31 win at the Capital One Bowl. “Last year, when we were in Orlando, we were smoking over there,” Richt said. “You think we’re a warm-weather team. But we’re pretty soft when the heat gets out there.”

>> If you remember from last year’s pre-game storylines, Richt was born in Omaha. “My family’s all a bunch of Cornhusker fans,” Richt said. “I grew up saying, ‘Go Big Red’ and all that kind of thing. So it’s very much an honor to get a chance to play Nebraska again.”

About Jon Nyatawa

Jon Nyatawa has covered local sports, primarily Nebraska football, for The Omaha World-Herald since 2008. He and his laptop, cell phone, tape recorder, pen and notebook all live in Lincoln. Follow him on Twitter: @JonNyatawa. Email him here: jon.nyatawa@owh.com. He welcomes feedback.