This post commences our series of previews for the Capital One Bowl. Today, we're going to look at our history with the Nebraska Cornhuskers. One of the more interesting things about bowl matchups is that you play teams that you don't have long histories with. That's certainly true for Nebraska--we've only played the Huskers three times. And we've never beaten them.
Although Nebraska owns a 3-0 record against us, there have been some interesting games between the two teams. In 1986, an unheralded Gamecocks team took a highly-ranked Huskers team down to the wire in Columbia. Unfortunately, the Chicken Curse kicked in late in the game, and Nebraska escaped with a victory. If you want to know more, watch the following video--you're forewarned that the end is heartbreaking:
October 4, 1986 - #3 Nebraska @ South Carolina (via HuskerHistorian)
(BTW, can we please bring those helmets back for a throwback game?)
A more highly-touted Gamecocks team would make the return trip to Lincoln the following year, but they'd again come up short in a close game. No shame in that, of course; both of those Huskers teams went 10-2 and were in the thick of the national title race until losing late-season games to Oklahoma, which was also a powerhouse those years. Much like most any other years during the 80s or 90s, these were elite Huskers teams.
There's one other game that's worth noting here: Steve Spurrier's Gators lost ugly to Nebraska in the 1995 Fiesta Bowl, a matchup between first- and second-ranked undefeated teams. (That was, in fact, the only Florida team that made it to bowl season undefeated; the only other to go through the regular season undefeated was the 2009 team, which lost to Alabama in the SECCG.) That game featured this infamous play:
Tommie Frazier's 75-yard TD Run (via BourgeoisBuffoon)
Not the HBC's finest moment. Spurrier would hire Bob Stoops to fix his defense after this game, and the rest is history, with the Gators winning the 1996 title and Stoops going on to lead the Oklahoma Sooners to a title in 2000.
This is all to say that the Gamecocks and Spurrier have some demons to exorcise this year. USC can get its first win over a team that gave it some grief back in the 80s, while Spurrier can avenge a humiliating loss. So, while we don't have a lot of history with the Huskers, the history we do have is significant.