OUTBACK BOWL CHAMPS! Gamecocks defeat Michigan 33-28
TAMPA, Fla. -- Dylan
Thompson's 32-yard touchdown pass to Bruce Ellington with 11 seconds
remaining lifted South Carolina to a 33-28 victory over Michigan to win
the 2013 Outback Bowl. South Carolina finishes the season with an 11-2
record and matches last year's win total and school record. Head coach
Steve Spurrier won his third bowl at South Carolina as well to set a
school record by a Gamecock coach.
Trailing 28-27 with 3:29
remaining in the fourth quarter, South Carolina made one final drive
down the field. Junior quarterback Connor Shaw converted a 4th & 3
on the South Carolina 37 with a 6-yard slant pass to Ace Sanders and
followed that up with completions of 6, 8 and 6, all to Sanders to earn
two more first downs. Shaw would have to leave the game after the
fourth completion to Sanders as he was nicked up on the play, resulting
in Thompson entering the contest. Thompson moved the Gamecocks down to
the Michigan 32-yardline with 20 seconds remaining. After spiking the
ball to stop the clock, Thompson took the next snap and unleashed a
perfect strike to Ellington near the goalline. The Gamecock wide
receiver caught the pass on the Michigan 2 and made his way into the
end zone to give the Gamecocks a 5-point lead. After a failed 2-point
conversion, the Gamecocks defense held off Michigan's final play from
scrimmage to lift South Carolina to the victory.
The back and
forth affair saw the duo of Shaw and Thompson deliver for Carolina as
both quarterbacks had success in the air against the Wolverine defense.
Shaw finished 18-for-26 for 224 yards in the air and a pair of
touchdowns. Thompson was 7-for-10 for 117 yards as well as two
touchdowns. In addition, Shaw was successful running the ball in a
majority of the game as he carried 10 times for 96 yards rushing.
wide receiver Ace Sanders caught 9 passes for 92 yards with two
touchdown receptions as well as a 63-yard punt return for a touchdown.
Senior tailback Kenny Miles had 4 catches for 22 yards, sophomore
receiver Nick Jones 2 receptions for 70 yards and sophomore receiver
Damiere Byrd 2 receptions for 63 yards.
The Gamecocks came out
strong offensively as they took the opening kickoff and needed just
three plays to find the end zone. On first and 10 from the Carolina 44,
Damiere Byrd got behind the Wolverine secondary and Shaw connected with
him for a 56-yard scoring strike to give the Gamecocks a 7-0 lead less
than two minutes into the game.
Michigan trimmed South Carolina's lead to 7-3 with a 39-yard field goal by Brendan Gibbons with 7:28 left in the first quarter.
the Carolina defense pushed the Wolverines back to their own 9-yard
line with a sack by Aldrick Fordham, Michigan punted to All-SEC return
man Ace Sanders. Sanders fielded the punt at the Gamecock 37 and weaved
his way 63 yards to the end zone, giving the Gamecocks a 14-3 advantage
at the 3:29 mark of the first stanza. It was Sanders' second return for
a touchdown of the season and third of his career and was also the
longest return in school history in a bowl game.
Wolverines answered with an 11-play, 75-yard scoring drive capped by a
5-yard touchdown pass from Devin Gardner to Drew Dileo, cutting South
Carolina's lead to 14-10.
However, the Gamecocks regained
their 11-point lead quickly with a four-play, 75-yard touchdown drive.
Dylan Thompson found Nick Jones across the middle for a 70-yard pass to
set Carolina up at the Michigan 4. From there Thompson rolled right and
found Sanders open in the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown pass to give
the Gamecocks a 21-10 lead with 10:54 left in the half.
Carolina turned the ball over at its own 31 on its next possession, but
the defense held the Wolverines to a 40-yard field goal by Gibbons, as
the Gamecocks took a 21-13 lead into the locker room.
battled back to take the lead in the second half. Matt Wile made a
52-yard field goal for the Wolverines on their second possession of the
third quarter to pull to within 21-16. On its next possession, Michigan
went on a 10-play, 65-yard scoring drive capped by a 10-yard touchdown
pass from Devin Gardner to Jeremy Gallon to take a 22-21 lead.
Clowney would make a big defensive play in Michigan territory in the
fourth quarter with 8:22 remaining to cause a Michigan fumble. Clowney
forced and recovered a fumble by tailback Vincent Smith giving the
Gamecocks the ball on the Michigan 31-yardline. South Carolina quickly
struck then as Shaw completed a 31-yard touchdown pass to Sanders as
the Gamecocks reclaimed a 27-22 lead.
Michigan answered on its
ensuing drive to take a 28-27 lead. A 11-play 64-yard drive took up
over four minutes on the clock and was capped by a 17-yard pass from
Gardner to Gallon, his second touchdown reception of the game.
Carolina senior linebacker Shaq Wilson and senior safety D.J.
Swearinger were big on the defensive side as they each tallied nine
tackles in their final game of their careers at South Carolina. The
Gamecocks also had an interception by Jimmy Legree in the