Published Wednesday, January 1, 2014 AT 6:20 PM / Updated at 10:08 PM
Tom’s Takes: Nebraska 24, Georgia 19
Tom Shatel Omaha World-Herald

Lot to like: The guts of Tommy Armstrong. The understated brilliance of Ameer Abdullah; I think he could have the same impact as Ndamukong Suh in a senior year. Tim Beck taking the deep shots from near his goal line. The pop pass to tight end Cethan Carter and the use of the tight end in general. Finally, the Nebraska fans who showed up here. I don’t have a number, but it was a good showing.

Not so much: The interception by Tommy Armstrong — threw it behind Kenny Bell, timing was off, but he’ll get more reps with the first team now that Taylor Martinez is gone. Bowl rematches.

Harry Grimminger Player of the Game: Jason Ankrah and the defensive line. Georgia has some big ol’ SEC boys up front, but they were no match for Ankrah and fellow graybeard Thad Randle. NU’s defensive front was dominant, chasing quarterback Hutson Mason out of the pocket and ruining pass plays time and again. Ankrah and Randle went out in style.

Bottom line: This was a big win, because of the opponent and the timing. The program not only needed something good to happen, it needed proof it could still win a game like this. Nobody was going overboard afterward, but there was a real feeling of accomplishment and a quiet optimism. Depending on who comes back and who emerges as an offseason leader in the weight room, this one will serve NU well next season against a schedule that is mostly friendly with a few potential speed bumps.

About Tom Shatel

Tom Shatel is a columnist for The Omaha World-Herald. You can get in touch with Tom on Twitter (@tomshatelOWH), or send him an email at tom.shatel@owh.com.