Gamecocks Come Back To Win the 2018 Outback Bowl

By on January 2, 2018

All Photos by Travis Failey

Tampa –The Outback Bowl has seen this matchup before between Michigan and South Carolina and the result still remains the same as the Gamecocks got the best of the Wolverines on a chilly cold Monday afternoon by beating them 26-19.

It didn’t start that way in fact it looked like Michigan was going to blow out South Carolina when they took a commanding 19-3 lead but the offense of SC finally woke up in the third quarter .

Running Back Rico Dowdle had a 17 yard run to pull the Gamecocks closer. This was the first game Dowdle has played since breaking his leg vs Tennessee on Oct 14. Then Michigan tight end Sean McKeon had a fumble and South Carolina took advantage with great field position and Quarterback Jake Bentley tossed a 21 yard touchdown to wide receiver Bryan Edwards with a amazing catch to put the Gamecocks back into the game at 19-16.

Bentley later in the fourth quarter hit Shi Smith for a 53 yard touchdown and before Michigan knew they were down 23-19 in the game.

  Bentley who was the MVP for the day, finished with 239 yards and two touchdowns to lead a sixteen point rally in the second half. On the other side Michigan qb John Peters could never get on track going 20/44 for 186 yards and two key interceptions, including one in the redzone with seven in a half minutes to play which could have at least given the Wolverines at least three points.

It seemed like Michigan would get another chance to get back in the game but a muffed punt return fair catch was fumbled by Michigan’s Donvan Peoples Jones and it  gave the Gamecocks great field position and they capitalized with a Parker White 22 yard field goal. Overall South Carolina scored 23 unanswered points in the second half.

The Wolverines would get one final shot after Parker White missed a 48 yard field but like most of the day, Peters threw a interception on a 4th down play to defensive back Steven Montac to end the game. The interception also ended any chance for the Big 10 to go undefeated in bowl games this year as the came into the Outback Bowl at 7-0.

Michigan ended the day with five turnovers and a three game losing streak and afterwards, Jim Harbaugh was asked after the game if this was his last with Michigan because of NFL opportunities and he said “No.”

South Carolina ends the year at 9-4 in Will Muschamp’s second year as head coach after inheriting a team that was 3-9 when he took over. In the history between these two teams South Carolina is 3-1 vs Michigan including a 2013 outback victory 33-28. The rematch lived up to the hype but the result was the same on Monday.

 

Other Photos From The Game

 

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