ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — After three straight years of BCS bowl losses, Wisconsin hoped that its trip to the Capital One Bowl would be the start of better times in the postseason.
Instead, the 19th-ranked Badgers find themselves entering the offseason lamenting yet another missed opportunity.
Despite compiling 293 rushing yards against the Southeastern Conference's second-ranked rushing defense, Wisconsin couldn't overcome four turnovers and a late injury to its starting quarterback, falling 34-24 to No. 8 South Carolina on Wednesday.
Gamecocks quarterback Connor Shaw picked apart the Badgers' defense and was responsible for five touchdowns, including three passing,
"You kind of walk a fine line between being aggressive, getting after the quarterback and containing him," Badgers coach Gary Andersen said. "Our plan was to be aggressive. At times we didn't get the pressure we should have and at times he was able to extend plays."
Wisconsin (9-4) rushed for 293 yards, but had no rushing touchdowns. Wisconsin lost its fourth straight bowl game, failing to capitalize on 100-yard rushing games from both Melvin Gordon and James White, and struggling after quarterback Joel Stave left in the third quarter with a shoulder injury.
The Badgers hadn't lost by double digits since October 2010 (also 34-24 to Michigan State). Since then, they'd lost 13 times, all by seven points or less.
Shaw completed 22 of 25 passes for 312 yards. Shaw also had scores rushing and receiving. South Carolina (11-2) won its third straight bowl game to cap its third straight 11-win season.
Senior linebacker Chris Borland said the Badgers weren't surprised by Shaw attacking them both through the air and on the ground.
"We knew that coming in," Borland said. "He's kind of their engine and he does a great job of extending plays. He doesn't necessarily look to scramble, but to make a throw and he hurt us on that a couple times later in the game. He played well. We're kind of disappointed without being to contain him better."
After untimely injuries and losses culminated in the Gamecocks missing a spot in the BCS, Shaw said this performance offered some redemption.
"I told the team before the game that we've faced every possible scenario we could possible face this season and that Wisconsin would be no different," Shaw said. "I'm so glad the way we battled throughout the game and our defense came and played.