By: Madison Tucker
South Carolina finishes the season 11-2 after defeating Michigan in the Outback Bowl on January 1st in Tampa, Florida in from of 54,527 people. South Carolina came out strong; just a minute in the first quarter, Connor Shaw connects with Damiere Byrd for a 56-yard touchdown to give the Gamecocks the lead. The next drive saw Michigan’s Brendan Gibbons boot a 39-yard field goal. As the clock wound down, South Carolina’s defense fought hard and pushed Michigan back to its own 9-yard line. Michigan was forced to punt, which Ace Sanders returned for a 63-yard touchdown. The first quarter ended with South Carolina leading 14-3.
Michigan started the second quarter with a 75-yard scoring drive, culminating in a 5-yard touchdown pass to make it a four-point game. However, Dylan Thompson answered with a 70-yard pass to Nick Jones to put South Carolina at Michigan’s 4-yard line. Thompson found Sanders in the end zone on the very next play, giving South Carolina a 21-10 lead. The Wolverines were only able to answer with a field goal, leaving the score at 21-13 for halftime.
At the start of the third quarter, the Wolverines were able to take the lead on a 52-yard field goal. Then the Wolverines’ next possession resulted in a 10-play, 65-yard scoring drive. Michigan was up one point over South Carolina at the end of the third quarter. As the fourth quarter began, both teams were fighting hard, and neither gave an inch. Then a blown call brought the Gamecocks back to life. With 8:22 left in the quarter, Jadeveon Clowney rocked Vincent Smith’s world for a Gamecocks fumble recovery. Soon after, Shaw passed to Sanders for a 31-yard touchdown to put the Gamecocks back in the lead, 27-22.
With just four minutes left in the fourth quarter, Michigan put the ball back in the endzone, and the team back in the lead. South Carolina continued fighting, and Connor Shaw converted a 4th and 3 to maintain the team’s life. Shaw would soon leave the game, and Dylan Thompson took over, putting the Gamecocks on Michigan’s 32-yard line with just seconds left. The next play connected with Bruce Ellington for a 32-yard touchdown to end the game, 33-28. South Carolina won the 2013 Outback Bowl and Coach Steve Spurrier won his third bowl game with the Gamecocks.