After a brief respite, the Big Ten’s bowl woes have continued.
The latest from the league to stumble this postseason is Wisconsin, which fell to South Carolina 34-24 in the Capital One Bowl Wednesday afternoon. The Gamecocks actually trailed by one at the half before outscoring the Badgers 21-10 the rest of the way.
Connor Shaw, wrapping up his tenure as arguably the greatest quarterback in the program’s history, passed for 312 yards and accounted for five touchdowns — three passing, one rushing and one receiving. Bruce Ellington caught two of Shaw’s touchdown passes and threw one of his own, a nine-yarder to Shaw in the middle of the second quarter that pushed USC’s lead to 13-7.
Shaw, obviously, was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.
In a losing effort, Melvin Gordon and James White again ran for 100-plus yards each, with the former collecting a team-high 143 and the latter 107. It was the sixth time this season Gordon and White have cracked the 100-yard plateau in the same game.
Following the game, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney confirmed what’s been expected since he first suited up for the Gamecocks three years ago, that he will make himself available for the 2014 NFL draft.
Thanks to this loss as well as Iowa’s loss to LSU, the Big Ten finishes the day 1-2 in head-to-head matchups with the SEC. Overall, the conference is 1-4 this postseason, 1-6 if you include future league members Maryland and Rutgers.
The SEC, on the other hand, is now 5-1 during the 2013-14 bowl season, with the four other wins coming from Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Texas A&M and LSU.
The Big Ten has two games remaining during this postseason — Michigan State (vs. Stanford in the Rose Bowl) and Ohio State (vs. Clemson in the Orange Bowl — and are assured another sub-.500 bowl record while the SEC has four — Missouri (vs. Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl), Vanderbilt (vs. Houston in the BBVA Compass Bowl), Alabama (vs. Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl) and Auburn (vs. Florida State in the BCS title game).