Here’s a stat that’s hard to believe: Wisconsin’s 34-24 loss to South Carolina in the Capital One Bowl marks the program’s sixth defeat in its last seven bowl games. The lone win during the streak was a 20-14 win over Miami in the 2009 Champs Sports Bowl. See my Capital One Bowl honors and grades in this post.
BEST OF CAPITAL ONE BOWL
Best play: Trickeration is something we see a lot more of in bowl games, and South Carolina provided one of the best trick plays we’ve seen this bowl season. It was almost like something out of a video game.
Best player: South Carolina QB Connor Shaw. Let’s see, he threw three touchdown passes, ran for a touchdown and caught a touchdown. He also accounted for 369 total yards. Yeah, he was kind of good. That said, South Carolina WR Bruce Ellington was stellar, too (6 rec., 139 yards, 2 TD).
Best moment: Kenzel Doe’s 91-yard kickoff return for a score. Not only did Doe show fantastic speed on the return, he displayed a little power with a terrific stiff arm on his way to the end zone.
Best stat: The stat in the tweet above is pretty good. But there’s this, too: James White needed just 63 yards to give Wisconsin the first teammate duo in FBS history with 1,400 yards apiece, and he ran for 106 yards to join teammate Melvin Gordon and help Wisconsin make history.
Offense: C. The ground attack gets an “A” for amassing 294 yards, but the passing attack earns a “D,” at best, for its 113 passing yards and three picks. Add it all up, and let’s call it a C. To be fair, Joel Stave did get hurt late in the third quarter, and two of the interceptions belong to backup Curt Phillips.
Defense: D+. Connor Shaw absolutely dissected the Badgers, to the tune of 22-of-25 (89 percent) for 311 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. What’s more, the 34 points allowed marked the most Wisconsin surrendered this season.
Special Teams: C+. There was good (Doe’s aforementioned 91-yard kickoff return), and there was bad (missed field goal and failed fake field goal).
It was over when: Skai Moore picked off backup quarterback Curt Phillips with 3:14 left and with the Badgers down 34-24. Wisconsin was driving in South Carolina territory and looked poised to make it a one-score game. Didn’t happen, thanks to Moore’s impressive interception.
What worked: The rushing game, of course. The Badgers, fresh off two of their worst ground performances of the year, racked up 286 yards, on 42 carries, averaging 6.8 yards per pop. Melvin Gordon (144) and James White (106) each eclipsed the 100-yard barrier, while Corey Clement busted loose for a 32-yard scamper on his lone carry.
What didn’t work: The passing game. It was terrible, to be honest. Yes, Joel Stave threw a pair of touchdowns, but he only had 79 yards and an interception before he left the game with a shoulder injury. His replacement, Curt Phillips, tossed two interceptions. Together, Stave and Phillips combined to complete 16-of-25 for 113 yards, two touchdowns and three picks.
|About Brent Yarina||BTN.com senior editor Brent Yarina covers football and men’s basketball for BTN.com. He writes the popular uniform feature “Clothes Call,” which also focuses on the latest cosmetic changes across Big Ten arenas and stadiums. Read all of his work here. You can subscribe to Yarina’s RSS feed and follow him on Twitter @BTNBrentYarina.|