Gamecocks Prepare For Badgers' Run Game

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By Jonathan Oh

COLUMBIA, S.C. (USC SID) – The University of South Carolina football squad practiced Friday afternoon as it continued preparations for the New Year’s Day Capital One Bowl matchup with the Wisconsin Badgers.

The Badgers possess one of the nation’s top rushing attacks with a pair of 1,000 rushers, but strong running teams are not new to Carolina. “We’ve played against a lot of good teams that can run the football,” noted defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward. “Not to take anything away from Wisconsin. They do a good job running the football. Don’t be misled. They throw the football an awful lot. You know what you’re going to get, you’ve just got to stop it. Once they get lined up, they’re going to run the football downhill and you’ve got to stop it.”

Ward is pleased with how the Gamecocks have practiced this week. “I think the guys have been focused,” said Ward. “We’ve had four or five days in a row where we’ve come out and practiced really to get us better on defense. We spent a period or two on Wisconsin, but we mainly focused on us.”

In other news, junior wide receiver Damiere Byrd will miss the bowl game after sustaining a knee injury during practice this week. He is expected to undergo arthroscopic surgery.

The Gamecocks will return to the practice fields on Saturday.

The No. 8/8 Gamecocks (10-2, 6-2 SEC) and No. 19 Badgers (9-3, 6-2 Big Ten) will meet at Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium on Wednesday, January 1. Game time is set for 1 p.m. ET and the game will be televised nationally on ABC with Dave Pasch, Brian Griese and Tom Luginbill handling the broadcast.

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