Gamecocks going to Tampa for Outback Bowl, taking on Michigan

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) – New Year’s Day is game day for the Gamecocks.

Carolina has accepted an invitation to take part in the 2018 Outback Bowl to face off with Michigan. A rematch from 2013, which resulted in a 33-28 win over the Wolverines in what became the breakout game nationally for Jadeveon Clowney, the SEC vs. Big 10 matchup will be held at noon, January 1, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.

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 by going 8-4 through November. The Gamecocks lost in an action-pact, high scoring 2016 Birmingham Bowl to South Florida in overtime 46-39.

The Gamecocks ended their regular season alone in second in the SEC East division, going 5-3 in league play. Two of their loses come to a pair of programs playing in the four team college football playoff field: Southeastern Conference champion No. 3 Georgia and ACC winner No. 1 Clemson.

South Carolina and Michigan have previously played three times, with the Gamecocks leading the series 2-1. Outside of winning their 2013 postseason matchup, the garnet and black won in Ann Arbor 17-14 in 1980, while Michigan came to Columbia in 1985 and left with a 34-2 victory.

USC’s all-time record in bowl games is 8-13, holding a 3-1 record in the Outback Bowl. They beat Ohio State in 2001 24-7, then beat the Buckeyes again one year later 31-28, but lost to Iowa in 2009 31-10.

Michigan began the year ranked No. 11 in the Preseason AP Top 25, but ends the year unranked at 8-4 (5-4 Big 10).