Capital One Bowl Open Thread | #20 Nebraska vs #9 South Carolina


9-3 (5-3)
3rd Big Ten Legends

Capital One Bowl
Florida Citrus Bowl
Orlando, FL
12:00 pm CST
TV: ESPN


10-2 (6-2)
2nd SEC East

South Carolina is one victory away from the winningest season in school history, but to achieve that they will have to overcome a team that neither they nor their coach have defeated and their own recent struggles in the postseason. After defeating Houston in the 2006 Liberty Bowl and finishing out of the bowl picture the following year, the Gamecocks have dropped three straight bowls, most recently losing 26-17 to Florida State in last year's Chick-fil-A Bowl. Further, the Gamecocks have never beaten Nebraska, losing all three meetings with the most recent coming in a home-and-home series in 1986 and '87. Neither has Steve Spurrier, whose second ranked 1996 Florida team was demolished by Nebraska 62-24 in a Fiesta Bowl that decided the national championship.

His current team is winning in a much different fashion than the high powered passing offenses that represented his pinnacle at Florida, averaging nearly 200 ypg rushing while playing solid defense, ranking 4th nationally at 268.9 ypg.

The heart of the defense is DE Melvin Ingram, a 1st Team All American after leading South Carolina with 8 1/2 sacks to go along with had two interceptions and a 68 yards TD on a fake punt against Georgia.

SC's offense finally found a rhythm after the unfortunate injury loss of Marcus Lattimore and mid-season dismissal of troubled QB Stephen Garcia promoted sophomore Connor Shaw to the starting job. Down the stretch Shaw completed 30 of 38 passes over his last two games, including a 14 of 20, 3 TD and 107 rushing yards with a TD performance in the win over rival and ACC Champions Clemson to end the regular season.

Meanwhile, Nebraska enters the game having lost two of its last four games, but the Cornhuskers did manage a successful inaugural season in the Big Ten, highlighted by a 24-3 victory over then-No. 9 Michigan State, and with a win here will cement their third straight 10 win season. Much like South Carolina, the Huskers have some unpleasant bowl memories they'd like to leave behind. After their second consecutive losses in the Big 12 Championship Game, the Huskers lost a regular season rematch (those aren't supposed to happen y'all!) against Washington in the 2010 Holiday Bowl 19-7 after having already beaten them 56-21 earlier in the season.

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