LINCOLN – Nebraska has accepted an invitation to play in the Capital One Bowl, where it will face South Carolina on Jan. 2 in Orlando, Fla.
It’s the Huskers’ second bowl appearance in the state of Florida during the last four years and their first match-up against an SEC team since the 2007 Cotton Bowl.
NU hasn’t faced the Gamecocks since 1987 (the Huskers earned a 30-21 victory). Nebraska’s won all three meetings in the series with South Carolina.
Neither team has ever played in the Capital One Bowl, although Nebraska did play in Orlando’s Citrus Bowl after the 1990 season (lost to Georgia Tech, 45-21). South Carolina lost 20-7 to Miami (Ohio) in the 1975 Tangerine Bowl in Orlando.
“We are pleased to earn the invitation to the Capital One Bowl in Orlando,” NU coach Bo Pelini said in a news release. “Outside of the BCS, the Capital One Bowl is arguably the top bowl game out there. Our team has battled through a lot this year to reach this point, and we look forward to the opportunity to earn a 10th win this season. South Carolina has an outstanding football team, and we know they will present a big challenge for our football team.”
Both South Carolina and Nebraska entered the 2011 with high expectations, labeled as favorites to win their respective divisions and contend for conference championships.
The Gamecocks won their first ever SEC East Division title last year. NU had two straight appearances in the Big 12 title before joining the Big Ten before this season.
But neither team reached their goal. The 10th-ranked Gamecocks (10-2, 6-2 SEC) beat Georgia early in the season, but ended the year one game back in the SEC East Division standings. The Huskers finished third in the Big Ten’s Legends Division, behind Michigan State and Michigan.
The Capital One Bowl is South Carolina’s sixth postseason berth in seven years under head coach Steve Spurrier. The GamecockS have lost their last three bowls, though.
Nebraska beat Clemson 26-21 in the Gator Bowl (in Jacksonville, Fla.) after the 2008 season. NU has played in the Holiday Bowl the last two postseasons.
Husker fans interested in attending the South Carolina-Nebraska match-up can purchase tickets starting at 9 p.m. Sunday night at Huskers.com. Nebraska’s received an allotment of 12,500 tickets ($87 per ticket). Beginning Monday morning, fans may order tickets in person or by phone (1-800-8-BIG-RED) through the NU athletic ticket office.
The Capital One Bowl is set to kick off at noon. It will be televised by ESPN.