Capital One Bowl 2012: Why You Need to Bet All-in on Nebraska vs. South Carolina

Johnathan CaceCorrespondent IJanuary 2, 2012

COLUMBIA, SC - NOVEMBER 26:  Connor Shaw #14 of the South Carolina Gamecocks runs with the ball against the Clemson Tigers during their game at Williams-Brice Stadium on November 26, 2011 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

One of the best parts about the college football bowl season is that somehow the games mostly end up pretty close. Fifteen of the bowls have been decided by 10 or less points.

But some of them are going to be blowouts like Boise State over Arizona State and Missouri over North Carolina.

The Capital One Bowl is going to be one of those games but Vegas seems to not know it.

The line for this game has South Carolina beating Nebraska by three points but that is the closest thing to free money that we have this bowl season. Well, maybe the over on the total points scored in the Alamo Bowl beats it out.

The Huskers have had one weakness all season: defending mobile quarterbacks.

Every single game in which Nebraska has faced a quarterback who even has a threat of running, the Cornhuskers have given up big points and lost every game with the exception of Ohio State. The Buckeyes were up 27-6 with 10 minutes left in the third quarter before Braxton Miller suffered an injury that completely changed the momentum and complexity of the game.

Gamecock quarterback Connor Shaw is one of the best mobile quarterbacks in the SEC with 53 yards per game on the ground.

South Carolina's defense hasn’t been great at stopping the run, which is Nebraska’s bread and butter, but if South Carolina can continuously put up points, Taylor Martinez will be forced to throw the ball into the second-best secondary in the country. That’s an absolute recipe for disaster.

With the exception of the Ohio State game—it can’t be emphasized enough how devastating the injury to Miller was (just read this article)—Nebraska hasn’t scored more than 25 points, while giving up 27 or more. It also gave up 38 to Washington.

The injury to Marcus Lattimore may have a lot of people shying away from this game but Connor Shaw is the key to this game.

Unless new defensive coordinator John Papuchis can figure out how to stop a mobile quarterback—you’d think he would have let Carl Pelini know about it if he had—South Carolina wins this one and wins big.