Capitol One Bowl 2014:
The Badger Bash
Let’s hope this is the image that we all see on the faces of the coaches, player, and fans from the Cheese State.
‘Tis the season for the University of South Carolina Gamecocks to go bowling once more to Orlando, FL and face yet another Big 10 opponent. Our team has been through hell and back with growing pains to come to an outstanding win total. We are now gelled as a unit on both sides of the ball. Wisconsin will be a strong opponent as the Capitol One Bowl Committee chose correctly for an excellent match-up which is sure to turn into another classic. Let’s take a closer look at the ins and outs, and what it will take for the Gamecocks to rise from the smoke unscathed for our second consecutive 11-win season.
Taking a glance back, because we have to be reminded of why we are here.
SOUTH CAROLINA’S SEASON IN THE MIRROR:
The Fighting #Gamecocks battled their way to a very respectable record of (10-2, 6-2 SEC). They finished 4-0 in non conference play for the 2nd consecutive season (further cementing Steve Spurrier’s overall record from both Florida and South Carolina’s reign of dominance with The Ole Ball Coach behind the helm) and met the previous high water mark of 6-2 set from last season. Our team packed with winners once again, just fell short of achieving their annual goal of playing in the 2013 SEC Championship Game.
WISCONSIN’S SEASON IN THE MIRROR:
The Wisconsin Badgers played a respectable season also. They finished (9-3, 6-2 Big 10) – and defense played a key roll. Two of these losses were compliments of inner-conference foes: . Then two weeks later a highly powered and talented squad ran by Urban Meyer led (now #7) Ohio State to victory with the final being 31-24 on September 28 in Ohio Stadium. I consider this one of the best regular season losses in the country. Let me also add that this: With Ohio State’s loss to Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship, they more than likely were kept out of the National Championship Game. That would leave a bitter taste in my mouth… Watch out Clemson! 😉
This is all about the Xs and Os – or Jimmies and Joes.
Looking at Wisconsin’s Depth Chart I’ve come to notice a few things. The main one being this. The only merit this team has to play the Gamecocks would have to be the ridiculous amount of overclassmen their 2-deep possesses. Their run game could possibly stack up evenly to two thirds of the SEC. Senior James White will be called upon by perhaps all of America’s Dairyland to answer the call that will be crowed out by Mike Davis & Co. from our own offense. Their offensive line is just not fast nor strong enough to hold off our national caliber defensive line for all four quarters.
Which brings us to South Carolina’s Depth Chart: – and it is now officially loaded and without gap.
South Carolina’s young defense has now turned into a strength after playing snaps together all season long due in large part to Lorenzo Ward’s relentless coaching style. They are seasoned, their fundamentals are down. They all will have something to prove to the entire land on January 2nd. They are not as green behind the ears as earlier this fall. Our offensive line will not leave Shaw to scramble when it is not necessary. They will give him adequate time in the pocket as they did for the last five straight regular season wins. They will open huge holes for Mike Davis and company to run for huge gains. They will leave a lasting impression on recruits of the future – they will turn heads. Still, keep your eyes open for Wisconsin’s running back duo James White and Derek Watt.
Three reasons for Wisconsin to be terrified of the Gamecocks, and another three reasons for optimism will all sum up to massive disaster for the Badgers. As we have seen, you must play a mistake-free game, or else South Carolina will capitalize on the opposition’s errors.
My personal keys to victory over this predicted fiesty University:
PERSONAL KEYS TO VICTORY FOR SOUTH CAROLINA:
- South Carolina must maintain ball control.
- South Carolina must lead with a balanced offensive attack, to keep Wisconsin off balance.
- South Carolina must be given the opportunity to stifle the run.
Vegas is betting against us as all three of the major line services have us picked to lose by 1 1/5 to 2 1/2 points (char map the ½). With these lines, Jim Hurley additionally has Wisconsin favored by 2 ½ tokens. But Vegas still doesn’t know or show the respect for Steve Spurrier’s playcalling – for it is the great equalizer and advantage. Watch out for Jadeveon Clowney to show up for his last college game against another nonconference defensive line to protect his NFL draft position. I see our South Carolina Gamecocks ending the season on yet another positive note. This is why I have chosen to nomenclate this The Badger Bash.
I would never let the party begin until after the clock reads 0:00 at the end of the fourth quarter. But this is a special case. South Carolina wins big over Wisconsin and will finish the season nestled nicely inside the Top 10: 42-17 .
Let the Victory Party Start at First Quarter and let it continue after the Fourth!
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