Tampa Bay Sports Day

OUTBACK BOWL: South Carolina Rallies Past Michigan 26-19

TAMPA – South Carolina scored 23 unanswered points and rallied for a 26-19 win over Michigan Monday in the Outback Bowl before 45,487 in Tampa, Fla.

“Huge win for our football program. We don’t have all the trophies and the tradition and the history, but we’ve got some grit. We’ve got some toughness and resolve. We’re 10 3 in one score games in two years,” said South Carolina coach Will Muschamp.

Quinn Nordin kicked four field goals for the Wolverines.

The Wolverine defense held the Gamecocks out of the end zone,  holding them to Parker White’s 44-yard  field goal, until late in the third quarter.

But Carolina quickly scored twice to cut the margin to three entering the final quarter. And added on in the final period.

Trailing 19-3, Rico Dowdle ran for a 17-yard score. QB Jake Bentley then threw TD passes to Bryan Edwards and Shi Smith. Edwards caught five passes for 88 yards to lead all receivers.

White connected on a 22-yard three-pointer to extend the lead.

Bentley, the games’s MVP, was 19 of 32 for 239 yards and one interception. He was sacked three times.

“Defensively the key to the game to me was obviously the turnovers in the second half. But the first half, holding them to field goals,” added Muschamp. “In those situations thinking to myself, all right, we’ve held them to nine in two situations they wanted 14, and we gave them short fields in two situations.”

South Carolina flubbed a punt leading to the first points in the game.  The Gamecocks fumbled again on the their next possession. The two turnovers resulted in field goals by Nordin and a 6-0 lead entering the second quarter.

Michigan QB Brandon Peters was 20 of 44 with two picks. He was sacked twice. Ben Mason’s one-yard score was the only TD for Michigan.

“That trophy is not going in my room or my house or anything that has to do with me. It’s going in our offensive team room because it really was about everyone on our offense today,” Bentley said of his MVP honor. “I mean, it wasn’t just me; it was our receivers, it was our O-line. We went against some grown men on the D-linemen today, and man coverage all day, then the guys made plays. This trophy is for all of us, it’s not just to me.”

OUTBACK NOTES: Michigan lost three fumbles, South Carolina two…..the Gamecocks were penalized seven times for 68 yards and lost D.J.Smith for targeting and a hit on J.D. Peoples……Khaleka led the Michigan defense with 10 tackles and a sack…T.J. Brunson’s 13 tackes and two sacks led the Gamecocks…Nordin’s four field goals tied the bowl record set by Travis Fortney of Penn State in 1999……Michigan’s three lost fumbles set a new bowl mark and their five turnovers tied three other teams.