Capital One Bowl Picks: Nebraska vs. South Carolina 1/2/12

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The South Carolina Gamecocks will go in search of their 11th win for the first time in team history, while the Nebraska Cornhuskers are representing the Big Ten in a bowl game for the first time. These two will be tough to unscramble when they meet up in the clash on the 2012 Capital One Bowl odds.

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Capital One Bowl Matchup: Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. South Carolina Gamecocks
Capital One Bowl Date/Time: Monday, January 2nd, 1:00 ET
Capital One Bowl Location: Florida Citrus Bowl, Orlando, FL
Capital One Bowl Odds: South Carolina -2.5
Capital One Bowl Total: 46
Capital One Bowl TV Coverage: ESPN, ESPN3.com

When you think of the defense that both the Gamecocks and the Cornhuskers are capable of playing, you have to think that the two squads are going to be playing a tough, hardnosed defensive battle. That being said, we just don’t think that that is going to be the case this time around in Orlando.

Last year was a terrible one for QB Taylor Martinez down the stretch, and it is starting to look like it is going to be that way again this year. This was a freshman that lit the world on fire and was able to make himself a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate for the majority of the first half of the season. Things got tougher for the dual threat QB, and it was wrapped up by a terrible showing in the team’s last game in the Big XII in the Holiday Bowl against a Washington Huskies team that he and the Huskers had crushed earlier in the season in Seattle. Still, there is no doubt that Martinez is a tremendous talent, and he has the ability to put up points in bunches when he and RB Rex Burkhead get moving on the ground.

You would think that South Carolina would struggle in this game with RB Marcus Lattimore still nursing his torn ACL and this being the very first bowl game for QB Connor Shaw. However, RB Brandon Wilds has proven that he can be an explosive back, and though neither had a tremendous statistical season, both WR Ace Sanders and WR Alshon Jeffrey can stretch the field and make an aggressive defense like that of Nebraska pay and pay dearly. Shaw is a very mobile quarterback that can get things done with his arm and his legs. Even though he only played a bit over half of the season, he still mustered 1,218 passing yards and 483 rushing yards. His seven rushing touchdowns really made a big time difference, as QB Stephen Garcia, who was dismissed from the team, was never really able to showcase skills like that.

Down the stretch, South Carolina was really able to put some points on the board, putting 34 on the Clemson Tigers and 41 on the Citadel Bulldogs. We know that Nebraska played in some brutal games this year, but against teams that really had some potential to score on a regular basis, there were some games that had some pretty high score lines… Just check the 89 against Washington, 52 against Wyoming, 53 against Northwestern, and 62 against Michigan for proof. The bowl season is one that usually produces high scoring outcomes, and we think that this isn’t going to be all that much of an exception. Martinez will get the job done and get some points on the board, and Shaw will make sure that this one gets past the ‘total’ as well.

Free Capital One Bowl Pick: Nebraska/South Carolina Over 46

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Lou Palumbo is the founder and part owner of the Cappersinfo.com Sports Handicapping Community. He's been writing and posting free picks and sports handicapping strategies on the Cappersinfo forums and website for 15 years now. He enjoys handicapping just as much as he did from the very first day he built the original Cappersinfo website.

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