ORLANDO, Fla. — Flowery Branch grad and University of South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw threw for 230 yards and, along with a stingy defense that shut out No. 21 Nebraska in the final three quarters, led the Gamecoacks to a 30-13 win at the Capital One Bowl on Monday.
The victory gave South Carolina (11-2) 11 wins for the first time in school history and snapped a string of three straight bowl losses.
Alshon Jeffery had 148 yards and a touchdown before getting tossed out of the game for fighting and No. 11 South Carolina's defense had six sacks in the win.
Nebraska (9-4) lost its second consecutive bowl game and drops to 12-6 all-time in bowl matchups against SEC foes.
Both teams lost standout players in the third quarter when Jeffery, playing weeks after surgery on his hand, and Cornhuskers cornerback Alfonso Dennard were ejected for throwing punches at each other after a play.
But the Gamecocks kept the pressure on even without him and went up 23-13 with 12:25 to play on a 9-yard touchdown pass from Shaw to Kenny Miles. Miles then added a 3-yard touchdown run with just over three minutes left — his first of the season — to put the game out of reach.
Jeffery out-jumped the Nebraska secondary in the end zone to catch a 51-yard Hail Mary touchdown pass from Shaw at the end of the first half to send the Gamecocks into the locker room with a 16-13 lead.
Shaw passed for 161 yards in the half, hooking up with Jeffery on four of his five completions. Shaw finished the game 11 for 17 for 230 yards and ran for 42 yards and a touchdown.
It helped pick up the slack for a stagnant South Carolina rushing attack, which produced just 58 yards on 21 attempts.
It also made up for an offensive line that allowed Shaw to be sacked three times in the opening 30 minutes.
The Gamecocks led 9-6, but kept a Cornhuskers' drive alive late in the first quarter after picking up a third down, 15-yard face mask penalty. Nebraska scored three plays later on a 1-yard touchdown plunge by Ameer Abdullah.
Nebraska needed just 56 seconds to score the game's first touchdown when Martinez found receiver Kenny Bell for a 30-yard touchdown pass.
South Carolina defensive tackle Travian Robertson blocked the extra point, though, and Stephon Gilmore scooped it up and returned it for the 2-point defensive PAT.
The Gamecocks offensive kept the momentum going on their ensuing drive, capping an 11-play, 55-yard drive with a fourth down, goal line quarterback sneak by Shaw.