Sunday, January 1, 2012

PS Bowl-A-Thon 2011: Capital One Bowl

I'm just not sure which hilarious spokesperson to listen to?

The Where and When:
Capital One Bowl, Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium, Orlando FL, January 2nd, 2012 1:00 ET ESPN/ESPN3

The Who:
(20) Nebraska Cornhuskers (9-3, 5-3 B1G) vs (9) South Carolina Gamecocks (10-2, 6-2)

The Why:
The Capital One bowl has it's conference tie-ins with the B1G and SEC. Each year it takes the left overs from the BCS's plate and usually features two pretty good teams. This year's addition is no different with Nebraska finishing 5th in its inaugural B1G season. This marks Nebraska's 48th bowl all time and 5th straight where they are 2-2.

SCAR rolls into Orlando after finishing 5th in the SEC. This marks just their 17th bowl all time and 4th in a row where they look to break a three bowl game losing streak.

What Smartypants Accounting Guy Would Tell You:
Have you seen SO QB Taylor Martinez throw the ball? I'm mesmerized by it. It's like some crazy shot put type motion. It's weird. Needless to say the Huskers don't throw much. Ranked just 103rd in passing they rely on the legs of Martinez and JR RB Rex Birkhead to lead the 13th ranked rushing attack. Overall they average 390.5 ypg (59th) and put up 30.5 ppg (43rd).

Defensively it hasn't been a Black Shirt type year for the Huskers. The defense isn't bad by any stretch giving up 22.8 ppg (37th) and 350.7 ypg (36th). They can hold down the pass at 18th, but against the run they've been gashed a couple times. They are giving up around 161.5 ypg (66th). That's the most in the Bo Pelini Era. In their three losses the teams they faced put up over 200 yards on the ground.

Which is good news for the Cocks as they boast the 25th ranked rushing attack. They are 46t in scoring at 30.1 ppg and 74th in total offense at 375.4. SO QB Connor Shaw has taken over the 96th ranked passing offense after Spurrier finally figured out how to get rid of much maligned SR QB Stephan Garcia (we miss you brah!). The big question is going to be can SR RB Kenny Miles or FR RB Brandon Wilds step up and grind the Husker defense down.

Defensively the Cocks are pretty stout. Led by SR DL Melvin Ingram, their defense line is pretty damn good. Giving up just 18.8 ppg (12) and a measly 268.9 ypg (4th) they can put the clamps down on offenses.  They are next to impossible to pass on (2nd) and just about as hard to run on (44th). They key will be how SR LBs Allen and Paulk handle the Husker's option game.

Pool Prognosticators Pattern:
I'm pretty sure I've said this before, but Lil' Red scares the shit out of me. That thing is evil and creepy as all Hell. Look at that smile. You know that inflatable son of a bitch has a backyard full of dead bodies. Go Cocks!

Vegas Edge:
The line started with the Huskers at -1, but has since moved to SCAR -2.5. That's a pretty big swing. The Huskers have been dreadful ATS going 4-7-1 and 0-2 as the dog. SCAR hasn't been much better ATS going 5-6-1, but are 5-4 as the favorite. The O/U is 46 and both time Nebraska was the dog the score went over. Might be able to get a two-fer with SCAR and the Over.

Sweatpants Verdict:
The Husker rush defense has been the worst it's been since 2007 when they were 116th in rush defense and finished 5-7 on the year. Not to mention they are so one-dimensional, they can easily be shut down by a good defense and SCAR is a really good defense. Look for Martinez and company to get shut down and a big day from Connor Shaw in the air and on the ground. SCAR 38-13.

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