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January 2, 2012

College Football Report - 2011 Bowl Picks - Capital One Bowl:

Capital One Bowl

#20 Nebraska (9-3) vs. #9 South Carolina (10-2)

V S.

1 PM, ESPN, Monday, Jan. 2, Orlando, FL

Why Watch: The Cornhuskers look to finish off their first year in a Big Ten with a 10 win season and a bowl win over an SEC opponent. One of the hotter teams in the country, Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks became a new team with quarterback Connor Shaw at the helm.

Who to Watch: All-American’s suit up for both defenses and whichever plays better will help their team to a win. For the second straight season, linebacker Lavonte David led the Huskers in tackles. The senior out of Miami became a Butkus finalist after bringing in 122 stops, including 11 behind the line and 3.5 sacks. A two-star recruit out of high school and junior college transfer, David ranks fifth all-time in tackles at Nebraska after just two seasons. For USC, defensive end Melvin Ingram broke out of the shadows this season, becoming an All-American with 8.5 sacks and 13.5 tackles for a loss. An athletic marvel, Ingram also intercepted two passes on the season, scored on two fumble returns and brought in another score on a 68 yard fake punt.

How it’s Going Down: Like they did last season, the Huskers fell apart as the season wore on. Their physical style of play seemed to again catch up with themselves, more so than their opponents. The Gamecocks became a complete team when Shaw stepped into the quarterback duties. In the last game of the season against ACC champ Clemson, Shaw passed for a 70% completion percentage and three scores, and then rushed for 107 yards and another score. In their last three games of the year, the Gamecocks gave up an average of just 15 points a game. The Huskers averaged 40 points a game in their first eight with a 7-1 record. In their last four, however, where they went 2-2, Nebraska averaged just 19 points a game. Huskers quarterback Taylor Martinez never threw for better than a 54 % completion percentage in their last three games. Led by Shaw and a disruptive defensive front, the Gamecocks will get to their first 11 win season under Spurrier. Pick: South Carolina 29 – Nebraska 17

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