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12.28.2011 / The Huskers get ready in Orlando for their matchup against the Gamecocks. Posting by Greg Sharpe, The Voice of the Huskers.

After spending the last two bowl seasons in San Diego the Nebraska Cornhuskers head back to the east coast and Orlando and a date with the South Carolina Gamecocks in the Capital One Bowl. This will be the Huskers first matchup against a Southeastern Conference school since 2007 when the Huskers faced the Auburn Tigers in the Cotton Bowl.

"The biggest question in this game will be can the Huskers offensive line hold up against the outstanding front four of Carolina?"

South Carolina had a 10-2 regular season record including a 6-2 mark in the rugged SEC. The Gamecocks are coached by the legendary Steve Spurrier.  This year marked the seventh season in Columbia for Spurrier.  Last season he led the Gamecocks to an SEC East Title and this Capital One matchup against Nebraska is being billed as the best bowl game in school history.

South Carolina as an outstanding defense, they rank fourth in the country in total defense. The Gamecocks held seven of their last eight opponents to 20 or fewer points and in three of those games to only a field goal. The defensive ends for Carolina are terrific.  On the year the Gamecocks registered 25 sacks. They also intercepted 18 passes and have two All-Americans on their defensive squad.
 
Offensively it has been a year of challenges. Senior quarterback Stephen Garcia was dismissed from the team after the first month and tailback Marcus Lattimore was lost for the season with a knee injury. Sophomore Connor Shaw has taken over the offense and has performed well. He has completed 65% of his passes and has the ability scramble and creates offense with his legs.
 
The Huskers should be able to control South Carolina’s offense but moving the ball will be a real challenge. The biggest question in this game will be can the Huskers offensive line hold up against the outstanding front four of Carolina?  The odds makers have established South Carolina as a two point favorite and I expect this one to come down to a field goal to determine the Capital One Bowl Champion.  

This should be a fun game to ring in the New Year for Huskers fans. Happy New Year and Go Big Red!

Posted at 10:43 AM | Permalink
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