Photo courtesy of South Carolina Athletics
NCAA FOOTBALL BOWLS PAGE
(Sports Network) - Connor Shaw threw a pair of touchdown passes and rushed for another, leading No. 10 South Carolina to a 30-13 win over No. 21 Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl.
Despite losing his best receiver, Alshon Jeffery, to an ejection in the third quarter, Shaw finished the game with 230 yards through the air on 11-of-17 passing for the Gamecocks (11-2), who set a school record for wins in a season.
Jeffery had four receptions for 148 yards and a score before exiting.
Kenny Miles scored two touchdowns, one receivng and one rushing, and had 67 yards on the ground for the Gamecocks.
Jeffery was ejected after fighting with Nebraska corner back Alfonso Denner, who was also thrown out of the game.
Taylor Martinez threw for 116 yards and a touchdown and Rex Burkhead rushed for 89 yards for the Cornhuskers (9-4), who last appeared in the Capital One Bowl in 1991, when it was known as the Citrus Bowl.
Kenny Bell had three catches for 53 yards and a touchdown.
The first half ended with a bang as Shaw found Jeffery with a 51-yard touchdown pass as time expired. Shaw dropped back and almost slipped, but regained his balance and fired the ball as far as he could. As eight players went for the ball, Jeffery came down with it at the four. He turned and broke a tackle before stretching across the goaline to send the Gamecocks into the break up, 16-13.
South Carolina used a five-play, 41-yard drive in the beginning of the fourth quarter to extend its lead to 23-13. The Gamecocks picked up a critical 3rd- and-18 to highlight the possession as Shaw found Ace Sanders for 23 yards. Two plays later, Shaw found Miles in the end zone for a nine-yard touchdown.
Nebraska stopped South Carolina on 3rd-and-7 with 3 1/2 minutes left, but Shaw broke a 25-yard run on fourth down to give the Gamecocks a huge first down. Miles then punched it in from the three-yard line to all but end any chance of a Cornhusker comeback.
After forcing a three-and-out on the game's first possesion, Nebraska took over at the South Carolina 46-yard line. Martinez found Bell in the end zone for a 30-yard touchdown to cap the Cornhuskers' quick three-play, 46-yard opening drive. But the Gamecocks blocked the Brett Maher extra point attempt and Stephon Gilmore scooped it up around the 20 and returned it to get two points.
The Gamecocks matched Nebraska's score immediately. After getting stopped just before the goal line on third down, Shaw followed his center into the end zone and an extra point put South Carolina up 9-6. Earlier in the drive, on 3rd- and-7, Shaw scrambled, avoided getting tackled twice and picked up eight yards and a first down to keep the series alive.
Nebraska came right back with a touchdown to make it 13-9. Martinez ran for 16 yards and was tackled on the one-yard line. On the next play, Burkhead lined up under center, took the snap and turned and pitched to Ameer Abdullah, who went into the end zone untouched.