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Capital One Bowl Preview: Wisconsin Badgers vs. South Carolina Gamecocks

Posted by Blake Frazier on 2/4/2014 5:32:55 AM

The Capital One Bowl is another postseason bowl that will truly test whether or not the SEC is still head and shoulders the best conference in all of college football. The Wisconsin Badgers boast one of the best running attacks in the country, and it will be up to the South Carolina Gamecocks defense to contain all Badgers running backs. Both team’s feature different styles of play, but this game should be a close one that isn’t decided until the final minutes.

Wisconsin Badgers vs. South Carolina Gamecocks
Odds: Even

What To Watch For From The Wisconsin Badgers

These teams are so evenly matched sports books have taken away the spread and basically called this game a toss up. The dominant Badgers running game is averaging 283 yards per game, and the two backs they will feature on January 1st are Melvin Gordon and James White. Both have over 1,300 rushing yards and double digit touchdowns this season, and as a team they are averaging 6.6 yards per carry. The Badgers would love to keep the ball on the ground all day, but they have a serviceable quarterback in Joel Stave, so don’t be surprised if they have success throwing the ball as well. Stave doesn’t have a golden arm by any means, but he is completing 61% of his passes and has more touchdowns (20) than interceptions (12). Don’t sleep on the Badgers defense either as the unit is ranked sixth in the nation for points against (14.8) and held the electric Ohio State offense to just 31 points earlier this season.

What To Watch For From The Soutb Carolina Gamecocks

The Gamecocks have a much more balanced offensive attack than the Badgers and that is in part thanks to the teams leaders and senior quarterback Connor Shaw. Shaw has the most passing yards (2,135) of his career this season and has an incredible touchdown to interception ratio of 21:1. Behind Shaw is running back Mike Davis, who although only a sophomore was considered a Heisman candidate earlier in the year and has rushed for over 1,000 yards on a 5.8 yards per carry average. This game features three big name running backs, but expect to see the quarterbacks get plenty of work in as well to try and keep the opposing defense guessing.


Both of these team’s defenses have played against some of the top offenses in the country this season, so don’t expect to see a high scoring of blowout of a game. While they may each reach 30 points, these are two ground and pound teams who eat up clock and don’t put big numbers up very often. Jadeveon Clowney will of course be a player to watch, and given it’s his last collegiate game expect him to put all his doubters to rest by putting forth 100% effort throughout the contest and making a bigger impact than anyone is expecting. This game is a tough one to pick, but the South Carolina offense is more well rounded than that of the Badgers, which is the deciding factor for this intriguing bowl game.

Pick: South Carolina

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