The South Carolina Gamecocks scored 21 unanswered points, including 14 in the fourth quarter to win the Capital One Bowl over the Nebraska Cornhuskers, 30-13 in Orlando, FL. The Huskers offense was held to just 253 total yards against a fast, stingy USC defense.
South Carolina quarterback Conner Shaw was 11 of 17 for 229 yards and two touchdowns including a 51 yard completion to Alshon Jeffrey on a Hail Mary at the end of the first half that really turned the momentum in South Carolina’s favor.
Up until that point, the Huskers were holding their own with a 13-9 lead after the first quarter. On NU’s first possession of the game, they drove 46 yards in three plays capping it off with a 30 yard touchdown pass from Taylor Martinez to Kenny Bell off a play action fake. The extra point was blocked and returned by Stephon Gilmore putting NU up 6-2.
USC drove the field and scored on a one yard run from Shaw, chewing up nearly six minutes off the clock with their 11 play drive. After an unsportsmanlike penalty kept a NU drive going, freshmen tailback Ameer Abdullah rushed from one yard out after taking a pitch from Rex Burkhead who lined up under center. That put NU on top for the final time of the day, 13-9 with just under four minutes to play in the first quarter.
Turnovers on consecutive drives in the second quarter cost NU the game. The Huskers were inside the ten when Abdullah coughed off the football denying NU a shot at points. Then after USC missed a 20 yard field goal, NU was driving again, but Martinez was picked off at the Gamecock 35 by Gilmore. Three plays later, USC scored on the long pray thrown up by Shaw.
Martinez was 10 of 16 for 116 yards with that first quarter TD and an interception. Rex Burkhead carried the ball 23 times for 89 yards as NU averaged just three yards per carry on 46 touches.
USC’s Kenny Miles caught a nine yard pass from Shaw and then capped the scoring with a three yard run in the fourth. Miles finished with 67 yards on 15 carries.
The Huskers finish 9-4 in their inaugural Big Ten season.