Dec 08, 2013

Wisconsin vs. South Carolina Matchup Breakdown

The 68th annual Capital One Bowl features the first ever matchup between South Carolina and Wisconsin. Both teams enter the game ranked as the Gamecocks have risen to ninth in the country behind five-straight wins, while the Badgers sit at No. 19 after a 9-3 regular season. South Carolina will be the designated home team for the New Year’s Day matchup, kicking off at 1 p.m. at the Florida Citrus Bowl. Here are quick facts about the two programs:

South Carolina Gamecocks
Head Coach: Steve Spurrier (fourth appearance in the Capital One Bowl, 2-1 record)
Season Record: 10-2 (6-2 SEC)
Bowl Record: 6-12
Capital One Bowl Record: 1-0. Defeated Nebraska, 30-13, in 2012
Bowl Record vs. Big Ten teams: 4-1

How They Got Here:
The Gamecocks went 10-2 in the regular season for the third-straight season, including road wins at American Athletic Conference champion UCF and SEC East champion Missouri. South Carolina finished off the season with its fifth-straight victory over in-state rival Clemson, forcing six turnovers in the 31-17 win. The Gamecocks’ only losses came on the road at then No. 7 Georgia and on a field goal as time expired at Tennessee. Quarterback Connor Shaw ranks as the Gamecocks all-time leader in career wins with 26, having never lost a home game at Williams-Brice Stadium.

Five Key Players:
QB Connor Shaw – 2,135 passing yards, 658 rushing yards, 26 total touchdowns
RB Mike Davis – 1,165 rushing yards, 11 touchdowns, 103.1 rushing yards per game
WR Bruce Ellington – 635 receiving yards, 6 touchdowns
DT Kelcy Quarles – 36 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks
CB Jimmy Legree – 47 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 3 interceptions, 1 forced fumble

Wisconsin Badgers
Head Coach: Gary Andersen (first appearance in the Capital One Bowl)
Season Record: 9-3 (6-2 Big Ten)
Bowl Record: 11-13
Capital One Bowl Record: 2-0. Defeated Auburn, 24-10, in 2006; defeated Arkansas, 17-14, in 2007
Bowl Record vs. SEC teams: 2-6

How They Got Here:
Behind the nation’s eighth best rushing attack, the Badgers went 9-3, with two of their losses coming on the road at ranked foes, Arizona State and Ohio State. Wisconsin won six of seven games to end the season, including wins over Iowa and No. 25 Minnesota. The Badgers are the only team in the nation with two running backs to rush for over 110.0 yards per game. On defense, Wisconsin is led by the 2013 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, linebacker Chris Borland.

Five Key Players
QB Joel Stave – 2,414 passing yards, 20 touchdowns
RB Melvin Gordon – 1,466 yards, 12 touchdowns, 122.2 rushing yards per game
RB James White – 1,337 yards, 13 touchdowns, 111.4 rushing yards per game
WR Jared Abbrederis – 1,051 yards, 7 touchdowns, 87.6 receiving yards per game
LB Chris Borland* – 102 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 4.0 sacks
*Named Big Ten Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year for 2013

Odds and Ends about the Matchup
• Both South Carolina and Wisconsin ranked in the top 25 in total defense, scoring defense, time of possession, passing yards allowed per game, first downs allowed and fourth down conversion percentage
• Wisconsin leads the nation in fewest fumbles, while South Carolina ranks 13th nationally in turnover margin
• The Gamecocks and Badgers are well represented in the NFL. At the start of the season, 32 Gamecocks and 29 Badgers were on NFL squads, placing a player from one of the schools on 26 of the 32 NFL teams
• Five alumni of the schools made Pro Bowls last season: From Wisconsin, Russell Wilson, Owen Daniels, Joe Thomas and J.J. Watt. From South Carolina, Johnathan Joseph.
• South Carolina ranked 11th overall in home attendance (82,401), while Wisconsin ranked 14th overall (78,911)
• Wisconsin CB Devin Gaulden and South Carolina LB Skai Moore both attended University School in Fort Lauderdale, FL.


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