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South Carolina earns comeback victory over Michigan in Outback Bowl

The Gamecocks erased a huge deficit and flew by the Wolverines.

Outback Bowl -  Michigan v South Carolina Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

The South Carolina Gamecocks scored 23 unanswered points en route to an Outback Bowl victory. The Gamecocks won their New Year’s Day bowl game over the Michigan Wolverines 26-19 in rather thrilling fashion, handing the Big Ten their first and only loss of the bowl season.

After trailing 19-3 in the 3rd quarter, things looked bleak for the Gamecocks. But Jake Bentley persevered. Bentley threw two touchdown passes in the third and fourth quarters, and those combined with a Rico Dowdle rushing touchdown helped lead them ahead. A field goal by Parker White at the 3:47 mark of the 4th quarter pushed the lead up to seven, and there was nothing that the Michigan offense could do to force a tie.

Bentley threw for 239 yards, going 19-for-32 through the air with two touchdowns and an interception. Dowdle turned in a 45-yard effort on just six carries, with a rush as long as 30 yards.

Turnovers helped lead South Carolina to a win. While they committed three themselves, they forced five turnovers on defense. Two of them came on interceptions thrown by Brandon Peters. Another came on a forced fumble by defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw. Michigan also lost two other fumbles on the day in Tampa.

South Carolina hit nine wins with Will Muschamp in year two of his stint in Columbia. For a program that was in the dregs two seasons ago in Steve Spurrier’s final season, that’s certainly a huge accomplishment. Muschamp definitely has them on the right track going forward, and it will be fun to see what happens in the third year. In any event, this was a positive way to start 2018 for the Gamecocks.