The wait is almost over. Nebraska and South Carolina are ready to take the field at the Capital One Bowl on January 2, 2012. At Bleacher Report, we’ll make sure you've got all the late-breaking news you need to be up-to-date and as ready for the game as the coaches and players.
Well, maybe not as ready. We promise not to make you do any wind sprints here.
As bowl preparation began, Nebraska fans got a jolt of bad news when senior starting center Mike Caputo was cited for driving under the influence. Assuming the worst, and taking Bo Pelini’s precedent from the previous year, most fans assumed Caputo would be suspended for the bowl game.
But Caputo was ultimately charged with reckless driving, not driving under the influence, by the Lancaster County Attorney. As a result, Pelini did not suspend Caputo, opting instead for “internal discipline” for the senior.
Whether the charging decision was a favor done to Pelini by the county attorney’s office, or an accurate reflection of the facts as reviewed by the prosecutor, Caputo’s presence will give Nebraska a much better chance to win the game against South Carolina.
Both Nebraska and South Carolina had some changes in their coaching staffs between the end of the regular season and the bowl game. While Nebraska’s open positions have been filled South Carolina has yet to hire replacements for defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson and running backs coach Jay Graham.
South Carolina’s running game coordinator, Shawn Elliot, was quoted in the Omaha World-Herald as saying the Gamecocks “have a lot of quality GAs (graduate assistance) stepping up and helping us a lot.” Whether GAs can fill in for full-time coaches against Nebraska remains to be seen.
Nebraska and South Carolina will both be short a starting offensive lineman for the Capital One Bowl. Nebraska’s Andrew Rodriguez suffered a foot injury, and did not make the trip to Orlando for NU. South Carolina’s Terrance Campbell is still struggling with a leg injury and is unlikely to see the field for the Gamecocks.
Nebraska’s tight end Ben Cotton was a question mark with an injured shoulder. However, the Lincoln Journal-Star reports that Cotton is recovering from the injury enough to play in the bowl game. Similarly, South Carolina was concerned that safety D.J. Swearinger and tackle Kyle Nunn would miss time for the bowl game. However, according the CBSSports.com, both players should be available for the Gamecocks.
Wide receiver Bruce Ellington has returned from South Carolina’s basketball team to prepare for the Capital One Bowl with the Gamecocks. According to CBSSports.com, Ellington has practiced “three times in a month,” but “has a couple of days to learn the plays better.”
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