Jan 01, 2014

South Carolina Wins 2014 Capital One Bowl, 34-24

 In his last game as a South Carolina Gamecock, QB Connor Shaw didn’t disappoint. The senior threw for 312 yards and three touchdowns as the Gamecocks (11-2, 6-2 SEC) defeated the Wisconsin Badgers (9-4, 6-2 Big Ten) 34-24 in front of 56,629 at the Citrus Bowl on New Year’s Day.

“Connor was a pretty good player,” South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier said. “Wonderful win for us.  If someone said you’re going to win by 10 and give up a kickoff return at halftime when it looked like it would go either way, you’d say, ‘how is that going to happen?’  He was sensational.  Bruce Ellington made some catches.  Shaq made some good ones.  Two in a row at the Capital One.  Three in a row in Florida.  So it feels pretty good.”

Shaw completed 22-25 passes to collect his 27th win as a member of the Gamecocks.

“Not too many guys could hit 22 of 25 in practice,” Spurrier said.

Shaw hit both Bruce Ellington and Shaq Roland six times today for 140 and 112 yards, respectfully. Ellington’s 140 yards rank 13th most in Capital One Bowl history.

“They made some plays,” Shaw said.  “They told me before the game, just toss it up there and they’ll get the ball. Offensive line played well. A couple times I just threw it up, and Shaq and Bruce made some excellent plays.  So I couldn’t be more proud.”

He also threw for a touchdown, ran for a touchdown and caught his first reception of his career for a touchdown. He accounted for all five of South Carolina’s touchdowns, tying a bowl record.

“I wanted a receiving touchdown,” Shaw said. “What better way, in my last game, to get one.”

At the half Wisconsin held a 14-13 lead on QB Joel Stave’s 7-11 passing with two touchdowns. He finished 9-13 with 80 yards and two TD’s before he got hurt in the third quarter. After he went down Wisconsin didn’t score another offensive touchdown.

“Our offense didn’t change,” Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen said. “We expected the backup quarterback to come back and Curt has been in that atmosphere before in big time games.

“We got into scoring position a couple times and obviously didn’t convert.”

Wisconsin did not have a rushing touchdown in the game. However, running backs Melvin Gordon and James White did become the FBS single-season all-time rushing duo. Gordon finished with 1,609 yards while White rushed for 1,444 yards. They are also the first teammates in FBS history to rush for at least 1,400 yards in the same season. They were the first tandem to each rush for over 100 yards in the bowl since Charles Cole and Tony Harris of Toledo vs. William & Mary in 1970.

The Badgers finished with 293 rushing yards and 117 passing and had to rely on its defense to come up with stops.

“You kind of walk a fine line between being aggressive, getting after the quarterback, and containing him,” Wisconsin linebacker Chris Borland said.  “Our plan was to be aggressive.  And at times, we didn’t get the pressure we should have and at times he was able to extend plays. 

“I’ve got to give a lot of credit.  He’s a great player.”

Borland finished his collegiate career with 15 forced fumbles, which ranks second in FBS history.

This was the last edition of the Capital One Bowl and the last Orlando bowl game to be played in the current Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium before reconstruction begins later this month.

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