On behalf of its Selection Committee, Florida Citrus Sports’ Chairman Michel Champagne and CEO Steve Hogan announced today that the South Carolina Gamecocks and Nebraska Cornhuskers have been selected to play in the 2012 Capital One Bowl. The New Year’s classic will kick off at 1:00 p.m. on January 2nd from Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium in Orlando and will be televised nationally by ESPN.
The meeting will be the first between the two schools since 1987 and the first ever in the postseason. Nebraska holds a 3-0 edge in the all-time series with the closest contest coming in the lone game played in Columbia, S.C., a 27-24 ‘Husker win.
The matchup is not without some interesting side notes, however, as USC head coach Steve Spurrier and Nebraska Athletics Director Tom Osborne squared off in the 1996 Fiesta Bowl for that season’s national championship. While South Carolina’s lone appearance in Orlando came in the 1975 Tangerine Bowl, Nebraska’s 1991 appearance against Georgia Tech in the City Beautiful featured the only game with national title implications to be played in the Citrus Bowl.
South Carolina makes its first trip to the Capital One Bowl by way of a 10-2 record (6-2 SEC). Despite the reputation of Spurrier as the head of an offensive aerial attack, USC’s mantra in 2011 has been its pass defense, which boasts the No. 2 pass defense in the country. The Gamecocks allow a mere 133.0 yards per game through the air and feature the fourth-ranked overall defense in the country, giving up just 268.9 yards per game.
Nebraska (9-3, 5-3 Big Ten) had an excellent first season as a member of the Big Ten Conference. The Cornhuskers also have one of the nation’s top defenses against the pass (18th, 189.1 ypg) while bringing with it its traditionally-strong rushing attack, averaging 223.9 yards per game (13th nationally). Head coach Bo Pelini will now have taken Nebraska to bowl appearances in each of his four seasons as head coach, posting a 2-1 mark prior to this year’s game. Amazingly, this year will mark the team’s 19th bowl appearance in the state of Florida.
Game ticket prices range from $52-227. For ticket information, please log on to www.ticketmaster.com. Groups of 20 or more may call the Florida Citrus Sports offices at 407.423.2476.