No. 20 Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. No. 9 South Carolina Gamecocks
Monday, 1/2/11, 1:00 PM EST, TV: ESPN
Opening Point Spread: South Carolina -1
Current Betting Line: South Carolina -2.5
Opening Total: 48
Current Total: 45.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
Nebraska makes its 48th all-time bowl appearance and will make its second trip to the Capital One Bowl. The Cornhuskers have alternated wins and losses over their past five games, coming off a 20-7 win over the Iowa Hawkeyes as nine-point home favorites. The entire locker room is focused on giving the program its third-straight 10-win campaign. “It’s the ultimate goal right now,” stated Cornhuskers offensive lineman Jeremiah Sirles. Monday will be the fourth all-time meeting between the two schools, with Nebraska capturing all three previous games. Nebraska is 11-6 ATS in bowl games.
The Cornhuskers are 24-23 all-time in bowl games and will be facing an opponent that has registered a dismal 4-12 mark in the postseason. Nebraska is 8-10 all-time when playing bowl games in the Sunshine State. It’s important to note that the program is an impressive 12-5 when playing Southeastern Conference opponents in bowl games. Junior running back Rex Burkhead will have to do some heavy lifting offensively, running for career highs of 1,268 yards and 15 touchdowns.
South Carolina is appearing in postseason play for the fourth consecutive game and enters the game with a 10-2 record. The Gamecocks are certainly aware of their problems during the postseason. “Since I’ve been here, we haven’t won a bowl game and so we’re trying to go out and change that,” commented Gamecocks defensive end Melvin Ingram. Spurrier will definitely want to exact some revenge against Monday’s opponent dropping a humiliating 62-24 affair in the 1996 Fiesta Bowl during his time at Florida. South Carolina is 0-4 ATS on a neutral field the last two-plus seasons.
The Gamecocks finished the regular season with a top-10 national ranking despite losing quarterback Stephen Garcia and running back Marcus Lattimore in back-to-back weeks. Sophomore Connor Shaw has certainly grown into the role under center, completing 112 of 171 passes for 1,218 yards and 12 touchdowns. He has also managed to gain 483 yards on the ground and registered seven rushing touchdowns. On the other side of the field, Ingram has been a monster the entire year, posting a team-leading 8.5 sacks and tallying 13.5 tackles for loss.
Bettors will likely back the Gamecocks due to their 6-2 ATS mark as a favorite of three points or less, while the Cornhuskers are 19-20 ATS over the last three seasons.
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