Gamecocks face familiar Outback Bowl opponent

The South Carolina football team has accepted a bid to play in the 2018 Outback Bowl, it was announced today. The Gamecocks will face the Michigan Wolverines at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., at noon ET on Monday, January 1 2018. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN2.

South Carolina heads into the contest with an overall record of 8-4, including a 5-3 mark in the Southeastern Conference. The Gamecocks finished in sole possession of second place in the SEC Eastern Division, behind only conference champion Georgia. Two of Carolina’s four losses this season came to teams that are in the Division I national semifinals. The Gamecocks are the only “Power Five” conference team to improve their record by more than one win in each of the past two years. Michigan finished the regular season with an 8-4 record, including a 5-4 mark in the Big Ten.

This will mark the fourth meeting between the two schools and the second between the two squads in the Outback Bowl. The Gamecocks were 33-28 winners on January 1, 2013 in one of the most memorable bowl games in recent history, one that gave us “The Hit,” by Carolina All-American Jadeveon Clowney. The teams also split two contests in the 1980s, with the Gamecocks posting a 17-14 win in Ann Arbor in 1980, and Michigan winning by a 34-3 count in Columbia in 1985.

South Carolina will be making its fifth trip to the Outback Bowl. The Gamecocks are 3-1 in previous appearances with back-to-back wins over Ohio State in 2001 (24-7) and 2002 (31-28), and a 31-10 loss to Iowa in 2009, before posting the 33-28 win over Michigan in 2013. Former Gamecock Jadeveon Clowney provided a highlight reel moment with a helmet-jarring tackle (pictured).

Photo courtesy of USC Athletics

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