TAMPA, Fla. — Wolverine fans were definitely feeling blue as much as the weather in the state of Michigan when South Carolina came back and won the Outback Bowl by the score of 26-19. After being down under and out through most of the game, South Carolina finally got into the groove in the second half.
There were nothing but penalties, fumble recoveries, and field goals between the Wolverines and the Gamecocks, with the former up with 9-3 in the first half. Michigan scored the first touchdown of the game in the third thanks to a drive that led to a one-yard run from Ben Mason (#42). An interception from Noah Furbash (#59) led the Wolverines to the red zone to what could’ve been another touchdown, but the Gamecocks got even with a fumble. Michigan tried but failed to challenged the play, yet maintained a 19-3 led thanks to a 48-yard field goal.
Sadly, as to fans’ hopes and dreams of the Lions making it to the playoffs were dashed once more, the same is said of the Wolverines when South Carolina finally took charge of the Outback Bowl. It began with a 17-yard touchdown run from Rico Dowdle (#5). The Gamecocks attempted a two-point conversion to balance it out, but didn’t go through. However, a third-down Wolverines conversion caused another fumble from South Carolina, as the Gamecocks followed it up with a 21-yard TD return that cut Michigan’s lead down to three at the end of the third with 19-16.
The final quarter saw South Carolina taking the lead for the first time with 23-16 thanks to a 53-yard TD return, and everything definitely went downhill for the Wolverines due to the defense of the Gamecocks that included a red zone interception and Michigan fumbling a punt return that led to South Carolina concluding the game with a 22-yard field goal: clinching them the bowl.