Capital One Bowl: Gamecocks Will Face the BadgersBy: Erika Watts - December 9, 2013
With the college bowl schedule released yesterday, the South Carolina Gamecocks found out that they are headed to Orlando to face the Wisconsin Badgers in the Capital One Bowl. The Capital One Bowl is the best non-BCS bowl and will be played at 1 p.m. on New Year’s Day. South Carolina comes in at #9 in the BCS standings and Wisconsin is #19.
South Carolina Gamecocks
The Gamecocks finished second in the SEC-East with a 10-2 record. Some notable wins for the Gamecocks this year include beating two teams that were ranked in the Top 10 at the time the games were played. Clemson, an ACC team the Gamecocks beat 31-17, was ranked #6 going into rivalry week. The win over Clemson marked South Carolina’s fifth win in a row in the rivalry and was the Gamecocks 18th consecutive win at home. The other Top 10 team the Gamecocks beat was the Missouri Tigers, who played in the SEC Championship Game. Missouri was ranked #5 when the Gamecocks faced them.
There are quite a few standout players for the Gamecocks, including defensive player Jadeveon Clowney, who is projected to be one of the top picks in the NFL draft. Even though Clowney has been a force for the Gamecocks since he arrived in Columbia, he was promoted to celebrity status after the Gamecocks’ bowl game against Michigan last year. Clowney delivered one of the nastiest hits in college football history, which was featured on SportsCenter’s Top 10. See the video below.
Another Gamecocks player that is certainly worth mentioning is senior quarterback Connor Shaw. This dual-threat quarterback has completed 158 passes for 2135 yards this season, which includes 21 touchdown passes and just one interception. Shaw is arguably the best quarterback in South Carolina Gamecocks history. Shaw is USC’s all-time winningest quarterback with a 26-5 record, which includes a perfect record at home.
The Wisconsin Badgers finished up the season 9-3. This will be the first time since the 2009-2010 bowls that Wisconsin hasn’t been selected for a BCS bowl–the Badgers have gone to the Rose Bowl the past three years. With losses to Ohio State, Arizona State and Penn State, this just wasn’t the year for the Badgers. Notable wins for the Badgers include beating then #19 ranked Northwestern and then #25 ranked Minnesota. Neither of these teams were ranked at the end of the season.
A couple of players the Gamecocks will have to watch out for are quarterback Joel Stave and running back Melvin Gordon. Stave, a sophomore, had 2,414 passing yards and 20 touchdowns this season. Gordon, also a sophomore, rushed for 1,466 yards this season for an average of 122.2 rushing yards per game. Gordon had 12 touchdowns for the season.
The Badgers are currently one-point favorites over the Gamecocks, which may come as a surprise to many fans. What’s your prediction for the Wisconsin-South Carolina Capital One Bowl game? Add your comments below.[Image via Twitter]