Tampa Bay Sports Day

Michigan and South Carolina to Square-off in Outback Bowl

Michigan's Brandon Peters looks to pass against Rutgers in the third quarter Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017 at Michigan Stadium. (Photo: Kirthmon F. Dozier, Detroit Free Press)

The Michigan Wolverines and South Carolina Gamecocks will square-off in the Outback Bowl on New Year’s Day in Tampa, bowl officials announced today.

It will be only the fourth time these teams have played in more than 125 seasons of their football history. It will also be a rematch of the 2013 Outback Bowl thriller that included four lead changes in the second half and finished with a Gamecock TD pass with 11 seconds remaining to win 33-28.

Michigan will return with its full contingent of players for practice Monday in Ann Arbor.

Coach Jim Harbaugh said Sunday night that redshirt freshman quarterback Brandon Peters has cleared concussion protocol and will enter the first week of bowl prep as the team’s starter after missing the Ohio State game with an injury. The Wolverines finished the season 8-4.

South Carolina, coached by Will Muschamp, went 5-3 in the SEC this season. The Gamecocks (8-4) scored wins over North Carolina State, Missouri, Louisiana Tech, Arkansas, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Florida and Wofford.

South Carolina lost to Clemson, Georgia, Texas A&M and Kentucky.

“We are honored to represent our University and the Big Ten Conference in the tradition-laden Outback Bowl in Tampa,” said Harbaugh. “Our players and staff are excited to face an excellent SEC opponent and look forward to the competition on New Year’s Day.”

“I’m excited to be heading to Tampa to play Michigan in the Outback Bowl,” said head coach Will Muschamp. “This is a great reward for our staff, our players, the University and our fans for all that we’ve accomplished. Our goal is to enjoy the bowl experience and to come home with nine wins for just the seventh time in school history.”

USC makes their second-straight trip to a bowl game under the watch of head coach Will Muschamp, who improved upon a 6-7 record in 2016, The Gamecocks lost in an action-pact, high scoring 2016 Birmingham Bowl to South Florida in overtime 46-39.

“We are very excited to extend an invitation to the University of Michigan and the University of South Carolina to play in this year’s Outback Bowl,” said Outback Bowl Chairman Todd Buchanan. “These are two exciting teams and a quality match-up that fans are really going to enjoy watching on New Year’s Day. We look forward to hosting the Wolverine and Gamecock teams and their fans, and ensure them they will have an amazing and memorable experience in the Tampa Bay area.”

Michigan is coming off a 31-20 loss to Ohio State in the final regular-season game, while South Carolina is coming off a 34-10 loss to Clemson. Michigan and South Carolina shared one common opponent, Florida. The Wolverines won the season-opener against the Gators, 33-17, and the Gamecocks also beat Florida, 28-20.

The Outback Bowl will be played on January 1st at 12:00 PM ET at Raymond James Stadium. Tickets are on sale through Ticketmaster at (813) 287-8844 or 1-800-745-3000 and can be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets can also be purchased at any Ticketmaster outlet in the state of Florida.