Gamecocks win 2018 Outback Bowl with come from behind victory over Michigan with videos, photo gallerias, stats and more
GCF Staff Report
January 01, 2017
Will Muschamp, Jake Bentley Outback Bowl postgame press conference
South Carolina defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw after the Outback Bowl win over Michigan
South Carolina Gamecocks running back Rico Dowdle after the Outback Bowl win over Michigan
SCORE BY QUARTERSTeam 1st 2nd 3rd 4th TotalMichigan 6 3 10 0 19South Carolina 0 3 13 10 26TEAM STAT COMPARISONCategory Total Yards 277 300Pass Yds 203 239Rush Yds 74 61Penalties-Yards 6-40 7-681st Downs 17 133rd Downs 2-17 2-144th Downs 1-3 0-0Total Plays 78 58Avg Yds/Play 3.6 5.2Avg Yds/Completion 9.7 12.6Avg Yds/Rush 2.2 2.3Sack-Adj Rush Yd (Avg) 90 (2.9) 82 (3.6)Red Zone 3-5 2-2Time of Poss 34:17 25:43Turnovers (Def Pts Off) 5 (10) 3 (6)Fumbles-Lost 3-3 2-2Sacks (Def Yds) 3 (21) 2 (16)TFL (Def Yds) 9 (35) 4 (23)PASSING LEADERSMichigan COM ATT YDS TD INTBrandon Peters 20 44 186 0 2John O'Korn 1 1 17 0 0South Carolina COM ATT YDS TD INTJake Bentley 19 32 239 2 1RUSHING LEADERSMichigan CAR YDS AVG TD LGKaran Higdon 17 65 3.8 0 16Chris Evans 9 24 2.7 0 10South Carolina CAR YDS AVG TD LGRico Dowdle 6 45 7.5 1 30A.J. Turner 6 14 2.3 0 8RECEIVING LEADERSMichigan REC YDS AVG TD LGDonovan Peoples-Jones 6 58 9.7 0 15Kekoa Crawford 5 61 12.2 0 27South Carolina REC YDS AVG TD LGBryan Edwards 5 88 17.6 1 38Shi Smith 3 59 19.7 1 53
South Carolina 26, Michigan 19
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Jake Bentley threw for 239 yards and two touchdowns Monday to help South Carolina overcome a 16-point second-half deficit to beat Michigan 26-19 in the Outback Bowl.
The sophomore tossed scoring passes of 21 yards to Bryan Edwards and 53 yards to Shi Smith, the latter giving the Gamecocks (9-4) a 23-19 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Michigan (8-5) finished with its first three-game losing streak under coach Jim Harbaugh. The Wolverines turned the ball over five times, including an end zone interception that denied them an opportunity to regain the lead with just under eight minutes to go.
The loss also cost the Big Ten a clean sweep of bowl games involving conference members. The league entered 7-0, looking to go unbeaten in postseason play for the first time since 1998 when it went 5-0.
Bentley was 19 of 32 passing with one interception. Rico Dowdle, playing for first time since breaking his leg against Tennessee on Oct. 14, began South Carolina's comeback from a 19-3 deficit with a 17-yard TD run.
Brandon Peters had a tough day for Michigan, completing 20 of 44 passes for 186 yards and two interceptions. His second pick, with 1:05 remaining, sealed South Carolina's second Outback Bowl victory over the Wolverines in five years.
Quinn Nordin accounted for most of Michigan's scoring, kicking field goals of 35, 26, 45 and 48 yards. Fullback Ben Mason scored on a 1-yard run in helping Michigan build its 16-point lead.
Peters, who returned to the lineup after missing the regular-season finale against Ohio State with a concussion, was hoping to make it more difficult for Harbaugh to replace him next season - even if Shea Patterson is one of coach's options.
Patterson plans to transfer to Michigan from Mississippi, a program hit with sanctions, and to petition the NCAA to allow him to be immediately eligible.
South Carolina scored 23 unanswered points in the second half, overcoming a 16-point deficit to defeat Michigan 26-19 in the 2018 Outback Bowl in Tampa, Fla.
Quarterback Jake Bentley was named the Outback Bowl MVP after finishing 19-of-32 for 239 yards with a pair of TDs.
The Gamecocks finish the season with nine wins, which is tied for the fifth highest in school history.
South Carolina now leads the overall series with Michigan, 3-1, with the Gamecocks winning the last two meetings, both in the Outback Bowl.
South Carolina’s captains for the game were #8 D.J. Wonnum, #10 Skai Moore, #19 Jake Bentley and #81 Hayden Hurst.
Attendance at Raymond James Stadium was 45,687
South Carolina moves its bowl record to 9-13 and its Outback Bowl record to 4-1.
South Carolina is now 7-9 against teams in the Big Ten Conference.
The Gamecocks have 10 players that started all 13 games this season: QB Jake Bentley, WR Bryan Edwards, TE Hayden Hurst, C Alan Knott, DT Taylor Stallworth, DE D.J. Wonnum, LB T.J. Brunson, LB Skai Moore, S Chris Lammons and CB JaMarcus King.
Twelve seniors (Cory Helms, Hayden Hurst, Ulric Jones, JaMarcus King, Alan Knott, Chris Lammons, Skai Moore, D.J. Park, Dante Sawyer, Demetrius Smalls, D.J. Smith, Taylor Stallworth) played their final game in a Gamecock uniform.
CB Keisean Nixon made his first career start in the Michigan game.
South Carolina recovered one of its five forced turnovers with 57 seconds left in third quarter and struck on the next play with a 21-yard pass from Jake Bentley to Bryan Edwards, cutting Michigan’s lead to 19-16. After the Gamecock defense forced Michigan to punt, Bentley found Shi Smith for a 53-yard touchdown pass to give South Carolina the lead for good.
23 — South Carolina scored 23 straight points in the second half to give the Gamecocks the 26-19 win. Carolina was down 19-3 with 5:42 left in the third quarter but went on a six-play 77-yard drive that ended with a 17-yard run from Rico Dowdle with 2:25 left in the quarter. South Carolina took the lead for good on a 53-yard touchdown pass from Jake Bentley to Shi Smith with 11:33 left in the game.
South Carolina ends the season 9-4 with an Outback Bowl win, a 5-3 win in conference play and wins over Michigan, N.C. State, Tennessee and Florida. The Gamecocks open the 2018 season September 1 against Coastal Carolina at Williams-Brice Stadium.
From USC Sports Information
What was good, what was bad South Carolina vs. Michigan
What was good
Those throws and catches
Jake Bentley might not have thrown prettier balls all season than the 21-yard Bryan Edwards touchdown that made it a three-point game and the 53-yard rainbow to Shi Smith to put the Gamecocks up for good in the Outback Bowl win over Michigan.
South Carolina coach Will Muschamp had ruled tailback Rico Dowdle out for the Outback Bowl. Instead, he played and ran for 45 yards on six carries. The most import was a 17-yard option pitch where he cut back and scored the team’s first touchdown of the day.
South Carolina was tough as nails in a low-scoring opening half, and did its best to lock down a solid Michigan running game (2.2 yards a carry). Overall, the Wolverines had fewer than 300 yards, averaged 3.6 per play, converted 2-of-17 third downs and forced five turnovers.
Gamecocks coach Bryan McClendon was taking a beating on social media in the first half, but he was getting creative (though it wasn’t successful). That paid off, and USC averaged 6 yards a play after halftime.
What was bad
Returner Chris Lammons thought the ball had hit a teammate when he made a ill-fated stab at fielding a punt. Later Jake Bentley and a running back both tried to pull the ball on a zone read and ended up fumbling.
Not so special
Even beyond Lammons’ miscue, special teams had their share of issues. Snapper Ben Asbury ran into a returner, committing a penalty. Kick returner Shi Smith let a kickoff bounce and ended up getting pinned inside the 10-yard line.
That first-half offense
Before the break, USC averaged 3.9 yards per play. The Gamecocks had three first downs and didn’t convert a third down.
The play up front got better as things went on, but USC’s signal caller was sacked three times and hurried on many more against Michigan’s talented, blitz-happy front.
Rico Dowdle surprise come back
It wasn’t the original injury South Carolina running back Rico Dowdle had to overcome to play in the Outback Bowl against Michigan. It was the second one.
A fractured fibula cost him the final five games of the season. A mild hamstring strain had Will Muschamp announce days before the game that Dowdle wouldn’t play.
Yet a few series in Monday, there he was.
“I’ve been knowing I was going to play,” Dowdle said, “kind of all week. It’s just been like a day-to-day thing.
“I felt good, for the most part. ... Just trained and rehabbed right.”
Even at what he guessed was 80 percent or so, he made two vital plays on his six carries. With his team down 19-3, he took an option pitch from Jake Bentley and cut all the way past Michigan’s defense for USC’s first touchdown. In the fourth quarter, he broke a 30-yard sweep, helping shift field position after a crucial stop for USC.
Despite Dowdle’s confidence, Muschamp had been less sure of his back’s status deep into bowl prep.
“Not til yesterday,” Muschamp said. “He came to me ... We gave it a go in pregame. He said, ‘Today I feel good. I want to give this a shot.’ He certainly gave us a charge.”