Capital One Bowl: Nebraska vs. South Carolina Free Pick
- Updated: December 31, 2011
Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. South Carolina Commodores Gambling Odds from Bookmaker
NCAA FB Betting Favorite: South Carolina -2.5
Nebraska didn’t come into the Big Ten and dominate like some thought they might, but they did have a solid season. South Carolina had several obstacles throughout the year, but Steve Spurrier’s team put together an impressive 10-2 campaign in the tough SEC. The Gamecocks are winners of six of their last seven, while Nebraska has lost two of their last four games. Expect a hard fought battle between the Big Ten and the SEC.
The Cornhuskers likely had bigger goals coming into the season, but a 9-3 year and a berth to the Capital One Bowl can’t be seen as too disappointing. Taylor Martinez is still primarily a running quarterback at this point. Martinez threw for more yards this year, but his completion percentage actually dropped from 59% to 56%. He threw for 12 touchdowns while running for nine more. Rex Burkhead was a work horse in the Huskers backfield. Burkhead carried it 260 times for 1,268 yards this year. Burkhead is nursing an ankle injury, but he is expected to play in this game. Nebraska really doesn’t have a downfield passing game, and that allows opponents to sit on the running game. Nebraska averages 30.5 points per contest.
The Cornhuskers defense was disappointing this season. Jared Crick went down with a season-ending injury in October, and that definitely hurt the team in a big way. The running defense was supposed to be a strength, but power running teams ended up hurting the Huskers in a big way. Nebraska gave up 162 yards per contest on the ground. Overall, this unit allowed 23 points per game this year.
South Carolina has been without its offensive star since week seven. Marcus Lattimore went down with a season-ending knee injury against Mississippi State, but the Gamecocks still won six of their last seven games. Connor Shaw did a great job after taking over the starting quarterback job a few games into the season. Shaw finished the regular season with a 65.5% completion percentage and 12 touchdown passes. Shaw also ran for seven more touchdowns. Alshon Jeffery suffered a broken hand in the team’s regular season finale, but he is expected to play in this game. Jeffery is easily the team’s best wide receiver. The offense wasn’t great this year, but they did manage to put up 30.1 points per game.
The real strength of this Gamecocks team this year has been the defense. This is a unit that has absolutely shut down opposing quarterbacks all year long. South Carolina’s pass defense ranks second in the nation. Opponents are averaging just 133 passing yards per game. Overall, the Gamecocks rank fourth in all of football in total defense. South Carolina gives up only 18.8 points per game.
Look for both defenses to play well in this one. Both teams are fairly one-dimensional on offense, and these defenses are solid. I think this one stays under the posted total.
Capital One Bowl Free Pick: Under 46
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