For the second time in four seasons, Bo Pelini will lead the Cornhuskers against a team from the Palmetto State in a bowl game. Pelini beat Clemson in the 2009 Gator Bowl 26-21 in his first season as Nebraska’s head coach. This time, he will face South Carolina in the Capital One Bowl in Orlando.
This will be the fourth meeting between the programs. The Cornhuskers have won the first three meetings. But it’s the Gamecocks who are the 3.5 point favorites this time.
Sunday, head coaches Bo Pelini and Steve Spurrier met with the media one final time before Monday’s 1:00 PM Eastern kickoff. Pelini expressed concern about South Carolina’s overall speed, especially at quarterback and on defense. A key matchup will be Nebraska’s big offensive line against the faster South Carolina defensive front. He also pointed out that most bowl games are won by the team that protects the football better.
Gamecock coach Steve Spurrier pointed out that the game presents his team with a big opportunity. The Gamecocks have never won 11 games in a season and will do that with a win. Plus, a victory over a traditional power like Nebraska would certainly elevate Spurrier’s program in the eyes of college football fans. Spurrier expressed concern about stopping the Cornhuskers’ running game. He is optimistic his team, led by quarterback Connor Shaw, will be able to move the ball. Like Taylor Martinez, Shaw is an excellent runner.