Dec 30, 2011

@CapitalOneBowl Preview: A Twitter Chat With Gene Sapakoff

Gene Sapakoff, sportswriter and columnist from the Charleston Post and Courier, took time on Twitter to chat with @CapitalOneBowl to offer some insight into South Carolina before the game.

@CapitalOneBowl: Ok, 1st question: the #Gamecocks could finish with the best record in USC history. Is that extra motivation during bowl prep?

@Sapakoff: No doubt. That kind of stuff is a very big deal to football historian Steve Spurrier, who passes it on to the players.

@CapitalOneBowl: Is there a particular position or unit that will benefit from the added practice time in Orlando?

@Sapakoff: Considering that RG Terrence Campbell is probably out with a broken leg, I’d say the OL and meshing there with Kyle Nunn back as a starter.

@CapitalOneBowl: Speaking of the offense, Bruce Ellington’s dual-sport aspirations have limited his practice time. Will that affect USC’s gameplan?

Really don’t think so. He adapts quickly, in both sports. He does a lot of things but his Wildcat, WR assignments are not overly complex.

@CapitalOneBowl: Connor Shaw is a sophomore, but USC has four other QBs at his class or younger. Is he a long-term starter for the HBC?

@Sapakoff: HBC LOVES competition at QB and wants some. But Shaw is a cut above for now. Great Capital One Bowl QB match-up piece today by @DarrylSlater

@CapitalOneBowl: About that matchup: Which Nebraska player should #Gamecocks fans be most afraid of?

@Sapakoff: Have to think it’s Taylor Martinez. Important for the D-line to clog running lanes and pressure without having to blitz much.

@CapitalOneBowl: USC has the talent on the edge, but do Ingram and Clowney have the ability to contain the #Huskers option attack?

@Sapakoff: “Contain” is the fun word Monday. Nebraska will pile up some yards and make South Carolina score. Not quite “contain” but survive, I’d say.

@CapitalOneBowl: What’s the more favorable game for USC: a back-and-forth shootout or a grinding defensive trench war?

@Sapakoff: Defense, even though Nebraska has the MichSt win (24-3) and Iowa (20-7). This SC defense really had to grind this year and is good at it.

@CapitalOneBowl: Ok, last one: Which Gamecock is poised for a breakout game in Orlando? Who has the best matchup?

@Sapakoff: WR Alshon Jeffery. HBC remembers one of his Fla teams losing in Orlando to Plaxico Burress (MichSt) He wants AJ to have a similar big game

Big thanks to Gene for taking the time to speak with us. You can find his writing online at the Charleston Post and Courier.

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