... WHO: No. 8 South Carolina (10-2) vs. No. 19 Wisconsin (9-3)
... WHERE: Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium, Orlando, Fla.
... WHEN: 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 1,
... TV: ABC (Dave Pasch, Brian Griese and Tom Luginbill)
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... RADIO: WNKT-FM 107.5 (Todd Ellis, Tommy Suggs and Langston Moore)
... LINE: Wisconsin by 1.5 (over-under is 51 points)
... SERIES RECORD: First meeting
... UNIFORM REPORT: The Gamecocks will wear all garnet
... WEATHER REPORT: Cloudy, with a high near 72. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
... USC: Out: WR Damiere Byrd (knee), FB Connor McLaurin (ankle), FB Jordan Diaz (knee), WR Kwinton Smith (academics); Probable: OL Will Sport (ankle).
... WISCONSIN: Probable: LB Ethan Armstrong (knee)
A USC WIN WOULD ...
... Give the Gamecocks an 11-win season for the third consecutive year. USC never had won 11 games in a season prior to 2011.
... Be the 42nd Gamecock win in the past four years, extending their school record for most wins by a senior class. The current four-year win total of 41 (9-11-11-10) surpasses the mark of 38 set by last year’s senior class. USC is one of 11 schools in the country that has registered 40 wins over the past four seasons.
... Give Connor Shaw his 27th career win as a starting quarterback, extending his school record. Shaw is 26-5 as a starter. Previously, Todd Ellis held the record for most wins with a 24-16-3 mark.
... Extend the Gamecocks’ winning streak against nonconference opponents to 15 games. The Gamecocks have not lost a nonconference game since the 2010 Chick-fil-A Bowl, a 26-17 loss to Florida State.
... Give the Gamecocks’ three consecutive New Year’s Day Bowl wins. They defeated Nebraska, 30-13 in the 2012 Capital One Bowl and defeated Michigan, 33-28, in the 2013 Outback Bowl.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
... Both the Badgers and Gamecocks had a chance to be playing in the BCS before unexpected losses. Wisconsin was No. 15 in the BCS standings, but had its season stunted by early-season losses to Arizona State and Ohio State and lost to Penn State in their finale. The Gamecocks reeled off four straight wins following a loss to Georgia, but were upset by Tennessee before ending the season on a five-game win streak. Wisconsin will now try to end a three-game bowl losing streak. South Carolina has won two-straight bowl games over Big Ten foes, defeating Nebraska in 2012 and Michigan in 2013.
... South Carolina defensive line vs. Wisconsin offense. The Gamecocks have two of the nation's most imposing threats up front in DE Jadeveon Clowney and DT Kelcy Quarles. Both were first team All-Southeastern Conference and lead a defense that ranked fourth in the SEC and tied for 14th in the country allowing 20.0 points per game. Wisconsin's offense ranks 18th in the country averaging 486.8 yards per game.
1. FINAL GAMES: Senior quarterback Connor Shaw and junior defensive end Jadeveon Clowney will play for the final time in a South Carolina uniform in the Capital One Bowl. Junior defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles and junior cornerback Victor Hampton have made it clear that they intend to enter the NFL draft as well. Even junior wide receiver Bruce Ellington appears to be leaning that way. As five of the team’s top players, going out on a winning note would be fitting after all the success they’ve helped generate over the past three seasons.
2. STOPPING THE RUN: Wisconsin’s ground attack features a pair of running backs — Melvin Gordon and James White — who have gained 1,466 and 1,337 rushing yards, respectively. They will present the stiffest test this season for USC’s young but improving group of linebackers. If the Badgers can take control of time of possession and keep moving the chains, they will keep the USC offense from getting on the field. The USC defense must find a way to slow a team that averages 283 rushing yards per game and 6.6 rushing yards per carry.
3. SHAW LEFT, SHAW RIGHT: The senior hopes to save his best game for last. Already USC’s all-time winningest quarterback, Shaw can add one more victory to his career total of 26. The Wisconsin coaches have stressed all week that they must contain Shaw, who’s equally adept with his arm and his legs. His ability to scramble and pick up crucial yardage to keep drives alive make him extremely dangerous. And his 21 touchdown passes to one interception are a credit to his accuracy and decision-making when throwing the ball.
4. KEEP THE MOMENTUM GOING: The No. 8 Gamecocks have plenty of motivation to beat the No. 19 Badgers. A victory would give USC its third consecutive 11-win season and top-10 finish in the final rankings. It would continue an unprecedented stretch of success in USC football history and provide a solid jumping-off point to the offseason and the 2014 campaign. Steve Spurrier points with pride to the elevation of the program’s status to one of the best in both the SEC and the nation.
5. RETURN TO FORM: Sophomore tailback Mike Davis rushed for more than 100 yards in seven of USC’s first nine games. In the past three games, he didn’t play in one and totaled 76 yards in the other two. It will be important for Davis to play like the guy who was almost impossible to stop earlier in the season. In his last trip to Orlando, he gained 167 yards and scored three touchdowns in a win against UCF, which ended up as a BCS bowl team. He’ll need to step it back up against a tough Wisconsin defense.
USC DEPTH CHART
DEPTH CHART – WISCONSIN
WR – ROLAND (Jeffery, Whitehurst)
WR – ELLINGTON (P. Cooper, Brent)
WR – JONES
LT – ROBINSON (Zandi)
LG – CANN (B. Stadnik)
C – WALDROP OR STADNIK
RG – PATRICK (Sport or Rodgers)
RT – SHELL (Gibson)
TE – ANDERSON (Adams, Zandi)
QB – SHAW (Thompson, Nosovitch)
FB – GIST
TB – DAVIS (Carson or Wilds)
DE – SUTTON (Dixon, Harris)
DT – SURRATT (Dixon Jr., Green)
DT – QUARLES (Dukes, Griffin)
DE – CLOWNEY (English)
MLB – LEWIS (Holloman, Walton)
WLB – MOORE (Roberts, C. Cooper)
SPUR – GOLIGHTLY (Diggs, Bryant)
CB – HAMPTON (McWilliams, B. Williams)
SS – B. WILLIAMS (Marcus)
FS – ELDER (Gurley)
CB – LEGREE (McWilliams, B. Williams)
KO – ARD (Fry)
PK – FRY (Ard)
P – HULL (Fish)
KR – P. COOPER (Ellington)
PR – HAMPTON (P. Cooper)
SSN – CULBERTSON
LSN – DR. WILLIAMS
H – FISH (Nosovitch)