Capital One Bowl Preview

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Dec. 29, 2013

Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014 • 1 p.m. ET • Orlando, Fla. • Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium (65,438)
ABC • Announcers: Dave Pasch, Brian Griese, Tom Luginbill
Series: First Meeting

No. 19/19/19 Wisconsin heads to the Capital One Bowl for the first time since the 2007 game and will face No. 8/8/8 South Carolina at 1 p.m. ET on Jan. 1, in Orlando, Fla. The Badgers are taking part in postseason play for a school-record 12th straight season and are making their 25th bowl appearance. Wisconsin finished the regular season 9-3 overall and 6-2 in Big Ten play.  The Badgers are seeking their ninth 10-win season in school history and the fourth in five years.  UW is looking to improve to 3-0 in the Capital One Bowl, as it captured wins in both the 2005 and 2006 seasons.  The Badgers were also victorious in its last game in Orlando, scoring a 20-14 win over Miami in the 2009 Champs Sports Bowl, and are 3-1 all-time at Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium.  The New Year's Day matchup will mark the Badgers' first meeting with South Carolina.

Prior to the 2011 season, South Carolina has never won 11 games in a season.  At 10-2 overall, which includes a 6-2 mark in the SEC, the Gamecocks could achieve an 11-win season for the third-consecutive year with a win over the Badgers.  Winners of 14 straight against non-conference foes, South Carolina has not lost to a team outside the SEC since the 2010 Chick-fil-A Bowl, a 26-17 loss to Florida State.  The 2014 Capital One Bowl marks Carolina’s 19th bowl appearance. The Gamecocks are 6-12 all-time in bowl games. They dropped their first eight bowl games, won three straight, lost four of the next five but now have won two straight.  This is South Carolina’s second Capital One Bowl and third bowl visit to Orlando. The Gamecocks defeated Nebraska 30-13 on Jan. 2, 2012 and last year got past Michigan 33-28 in the 2013 Outback Bowl.  The Gamecocks are 5-9 all-time against current Big Ten teams.

In the Big Ten this season, Wisconsin ranked second in rushing (283.0), third in scoring (35.8) and total yards (486.8), and seventh in passing (203.8).  The Badgers’ rushing average is currently eighth-best in the country, as UW is the lone team in the nation to boast multiple running backs averaging at least 100.0 yards per game.  Sophomore Melvin Gordon (122.2) and senior James White (111.4) have combined for 2,803 rushing yards on the season and need to total 202 yards together to break the NCAA’s single-season record for rushing yards by teammates of 3,004 set by Nevada’s Cody Fajardo and Stefphon Jefferson in 2012.  With a combined 25 rushing touchdowns, White (13) and Gordon (12) are the third-most prolific scoring duo of running backs in the country.  The Badgers also rate 18th nationally in total offense and 25th in scoring, racking up more than 500 yards of total offense in five of its 12 games this season.  UW hasn’t just moved the ball on the ground either.  The Badgers (3,396/2,445) are among just nine other FBS teams with 3,000 rushing yards and 2,000 passing yards this season.  Quarterback Joel Stave and wideout Jared Abbrederis are the constants in the aerial attack.  Stave has completed 199 of his 323 attempts this year for 2,414 yards and 20 touchdowns.  Abbrederis, who was recently honored with the Burlsworth Trophy as the nation’s top player that began his career as a walk-on, ranks second in school history with 3,110 career receiving yards, in a tie for second with 23 receiving touchdowns and second with 197 career receptions.  His 15.8 yards-per-catch average currently ranks third among active FBS players.  Senior tight end Jacob Pedersen ranks third among active FBS tight ends with 17 career touchdown receptions, which are the most by a Big Ten tight end since at least 1996 and are the most by a tight end in Wisconsin history.

Among its SEC opponents, South Carolina rated second in scoring defense (20.0), second against the rush (142.2), third in total yards allowed (345.0) and fourth defending the pass (202.8).  Pocket pressure and forced turnovers have allowed the Gamecocks to keep their opponents off the scoreboard this year as those 20.0 points allowed are also the 14th-lowest average in the country.  The Carolina defense held 10 of its 12 opponents below their season scoring average, with six held double-digits below that average. Overall, South Carolina is holding its opponents to 10 points less a game than they are accustomed to scoring.  The Gamecocks have also taken care of the ball of late, winning the turnover battle by a 15-0 margin over the last four games. Carolina is tied for 13th in the nation in turnover margin at plus-11.  The Gamecocks have tallied 24 sacks and 83 TFLs, and with so much attention placed on Jadeveon Clowney in the preseason, other Carolina defenders have grabbed the headlines this season.  Clowney set school records last season for sacks in a game (4.5), sacks in a season (13.0) and tackles for loss in a season (23.5), but enters the postseason with just 3.0 sacks and 10.5 TFLs this year.  Junior Kelcy Quarles has been reaping the benefits of the attention Clowney draws.  Quarles leads the team and is second in the SEC in sacks (9.5) and leads the team and is tied for second in the SEC in tackles for loss (13.5), surpassing his 2012 totals of 3.5 sacks and 8.0 TFLs en route to first-team All-SEC accolades. Fifth-year senior Chaz Sutton, who has spent the past two years backing up Clowney and Devin Taylor, is third on the team with 7.5 tackles for loss and has 19.0 in his career.  Skai Moore paces the squad with 51 tackles, while T.J. Holloman, Jimmy Legree, and Victor Hampton each have three interceptions on the year.


 

 

On offense, South Carolina ranks fifth in the SEC in rushing (205.2), sixth in passing (248.2), and seventh in total yards (453.5) and scoring (34.1). The Gamecocks are on pace to shatter the 2010 school record for total yards (5,499) as this season’s squad currently sits at 5,442.  Directing the potent offense is quarterback Connor Shaw and running back Mike Davis.  With 5,762 yards passing and 1,636 yards rushing, Shaw became not only the first 4,000-1,000 yard player in school history, but the first 5,000-1,000. He is the school’s all-time leader in completion percentage at 64.7 percent, is second with 53 touchdown passes, and is fourth in total offense with 7,398 yards.  He has completed 61 percent of his 259 attempts this year, throwing 21 touchdowns to only one interception.  Davis, a second-team All-SEC selection, has put together seven 100-yard rushing games this season. He is fourth in the SEC in both rushing (103.1) and all-purpose yardage (134.2).  Davis has scored a touchdown in eight games this season with a team-high total of 11 TDs.  In the air, Shaw likes to spread the wealth as 19 different players have hauled in passes this season and four different players have led the team in receiving at least one.  Bruce Ellington (635 yds, 6 TDs), Damiere Byrd (575 yds, 4 TDs), Shaq Roland (343 yds, 5 TDs) and Nick Jones (256 yds, 5 TDs) have been some of Shaw’s primary targets, but he’ll be without the services of Byrd in the postseason as he has required season-ending knee surgery.

QUICKIE
STATS

Scoring
Offense

Scoring Defense

Total Offense

Total Defense

Rushing Offense

Rushing Defense

Passing Offense

Passing Defense

Turnover Margin

Wisconsin

35.8

14.8

486.8

294.0

283.0

101.3

203.8

192.7

+3

S. Carolina

34.1

20.0

453.5

345.0

205.2

142.2

248.2

202.8

+11


Wisconsin enters the bowl season ranked in a tie for fifth nationally in scoring defense (14.8) and sixth in total defense (294.0).  Additionally, the Badgers rank sixth in stopping the run (101.3) and 12th in defending the pass (192.7).  UW also ranks No. 7 nationally and second in the Big Ten in pass efficiency defense at 105.22, which has helped the squad keep their opponents 14.9 points below their scoring average this year.  Nagurski-Woodson Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and first-team All-American Chris Borland has been the key figure of the UW defense.  Borland has made 102 tackles this season at linebacker and ranks third in the conference with 9.3 stops per game.  He also has 8.5 TFLs and a pair of recovered fumbles this season.  In his last six full games, Borland has averaged 11.8 tackles and 1.0 tackles for loss and recorded three sacks. He posted double-digit tackles in all six of those games.  Brendan Kelly brings the pressure from the line, recording 4.5 sacks and three forced fumbles in 2013.  True freshman CB Sojourn Shelton has stepped into the leadership role in the secondary, ranking tied for second in the Big Ten with four interceptions.

On special teams, South Carolina employs the services of Elliott Fry – the school’s first true freshman placekicker since 1996.  He is 15-for-18 in field goal attempts this season, and is ranked seventh in the SEC in scoring and fourth among kickers at 7.9 points per game.  Tyler Hull is the Gamecocks’ second-year punter, averaging 38.0 yards per punt with 10 of his 43 boots inside the 20 and a long of 55 yards. Wisconsin’s Kenzel Doe rates fifth in the Big Ten in kick return average (24.2) and seventh in punt return average (7.2).




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