For the third year in a row, USC has capped its season with a New Year’s Day bowl victory in Florida. This time it was a 34-24 win over Wisconsin in the Capital One Bowl. Here’s my recap of the game from Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium.
Post Game Notes from USC Sports Information:
South Carolina defeated Wisconsin 34-24 in the 2014 Capital One Bowl. South Carolina concludes the season with an 11-2 record. It marks the third consecutive season that South Carolina has won 11 games. It ties the school record set in 2011 and also matched in 2012 for victories.
The victory is the 42nd Gamecock win in the last four years, extending the school record for most wins by a senior class. The four-year win total of 42 (9-11-11-11) surpassed the previous mark of 38 set by last year’s senior class.
The victory extended the Gamecocks’ winning streak against non-conference opponents to 16 games. The Gamecocks have not lost a non-conference game since the 2010 Chick-fil-A-Bowl, a 26-17 loss to Florida State.
It is the third straight New Year’s Day Bowl victory for the Gamecocks. South Carolina defeated Nebraska 30-13 in the 2012 Capital One Bowl and defeated Michigan, 33-28, in the 2013 Outback Bowl.
South Carolina is now 7-12 all-time in bowl games. Head coach Steve Spurrier is now 4-4 in bowl games as head coach at South Carolina.
Captains for South Carolina were senior quarterback No. 14 Connor Shaw, junior offensive guard No. 50 A.J. Cann, senior defensive end No. 90 Chaz Sutton and junior defensive tackle No. 99 Kelcy Quarles.
The 2014 Capital One Bowl was the 300th career game for Steve Spurrier as a collegiate head coach. Coach Spurrier is 219-79-2 as a college head coach.
Attendance for the 2014 Capital One Bowl was 56,629.
Six players started every game this season for the Gamecocks, three on offense and three on defense: junior offensive guard A.J. Cann, junior offensive tackle Corey Robinson, junior offensive tackle Brandon Shell, senior cornerback Jimmy Legree, junior defensive tackle J.T. Surratt and senior defensive end Chaz Sutton.
Senior quarterback Connor Shaw was named the MVP of the 204 Capital One Bowl.
South Carolina set a school record on offense for the most total offensive yards in a single season with 5,880. It bested the previous mark of 5,499 total offensive yards set in 2010.
Senior quarterback Connor Shaw closed out his career completing 22-of-25 passes in the air for a season-high 312 passing yards as well as three touchdowns. It was his first 300-yard passing game of the season. Shaw carried 16 times for 47 yards and rushed for a touchdown. He also caught a 9-yard pass in the second quarter for his first career touchdown reception. He factored in all five Gamecock touchdowns in the game. Shaw finished his career with 27 wins as a starting quarterback as the victory extended a school record he set earlier this season. Shaw became the fourth player in school history to surpass the 6,000-yard career total for passing yards. He finished his career with 6,074 passing yards, fourth-highest in school history.
Junior wide receiver Bruce Ellington caught six passes for 140 yards, a career-high in yards. His previous high was 136 at Missouri on Oct. 26, 2013. Ellington moved past Philip Logan (1974-77) into eighth place on the all-time receiving touchdown list at South Carolina with a pair of receiving touchdowns. Ellington caught a 39-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter and had a 22-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter.
Bruce Ellington’s 9-yard pass to Connor Shaw in the second quarter was Ellington’s first career touchdown pass.
Sophomore wide receiver Shaq Roland caught a career-high six passes and hauled in a career-high 112 receiving yards in the victory. His previous highs were four receptions vs. Coastal Carolina on Nov. 23, 2013 and 75 yards vs. North Carolina on Aug. 29, 2013.
The fumble by Connor Shaw in the third quarter was the Gamecocks’ first turnover since Oct. 26 at Missouri.
Jerell Adams’ 3-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter was his second touchdown reception of the season. His previous touchdown was a 4-yard reception vs. Mississippi State on Nov. 2, 2013.
South Carolina’s defense created four turnovers in the victory with three interceptions. The Gamecocks finished the season with 18 interceptions.
The defense allowed just 117 passing yards by Wisconsin for the contest. It is the second lowest total by an opponent in a game this season.
South Carolina’s leading tackler was sophomore linebacker Kaiwan Lewis who finished with nine tackles in the contest.
Freshman linebacker Skai Moore tallied two interceptions in the game and finishes the season leading the team with four on the year. He had an interception in the first quarter and an interception in the fourth quarter. His previous interceptions were vs. Mississippi State (Nov. 2) and vs. Clemson (Nov. 30).
Sophomore linebacker Kawian Lewis tallied his second interception of the season in the fourth quarter. His previous interception was at Missouri on Oct. 26.
Junior defensive end Jadeveon Clowney was credited with five tackles including a tackle for loss as well as two breakups and a quarterback hurry. His five tackles tied a season-high.
Freshman spur Jordan Diggs tallied a career-high six tackles. His previous high was four vs. Florida on Nov. 16, 2013.
Freshman cornerback Rico McWilliams made his first career collegiate start.
Special Team Notes
Junior punter Tyler Hull punted three times for 101 yards. His longest punt was 36 yards and he averaged 33.7 yards per punt.
Wisconsin’s Kenzel Doe’s 91-yard kickoff return for a touchdown was the first kickoff return allowed by the Gamecocks since Nov. 5, 2011 at Arkansas when Dennis Johnson returned a kickoff return 98 yards for a touchdown.