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Gamecocks To Face Michigan In Outback Bowl - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Gamecocks To Face Michigan In Outback Bowl

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COLUMBIA, SC -

South Carolina will face Michigan in the 2013 Outback Bowl as announced by bowl officials on Sunday evening. The New Year's Day bowl will kick off at 1 p.m. on January 1 from Raymond James Stadium and will be televised nationally on ESPN. South Carolina heads into the contest 10-2 on the year with Michigan sporting an 8-4 record.

The Gamecocks have won 30 games over the last three seasons with a school record 21 wins in the last two years.

South Carolina makes its fourth trip to the Outback Bowl. The Gamecocks are 2-1 in previous appearances with a 24-7 win over Ohio State in 2001 as well as a 31-28 victory over the Buckeyes in 2002. In the program's last appearance, Carolina fell to Iowa 31-10 in 2009.

The Gamecocks are bowl eligible for the eighth time in as many seasons underSteve Spurrier. He has taken Carolina to six bowl games. No other coach in Carolina history has taken the Gamecocks to more than three bowl games (Jim Carlen and Joe Morrison). Coach Spurrier is 2-4 in bowl games at South Carolina. He and Lou Holtz are the only Gamecock coaches to post two bowl victories. In South Carolina's 27-17 win over Clemson on November 24, Coach Spurrier became the winningest coach in South Carolina football history. Coach Spurrier is now 65-37 in his career at South Carolina; he surpassed Rex Enright who had 64 career wins at South Carolina.

This will be Coach Spurrier's first career meeting vs. Michigan as a head coach. South Carolina will face Michigan for the third time in school history with the series tied 1-1 heading into the contest. Carolina defeated the Wolverines 17-14 in Ann Arbor on Sept. 27, 1980 with Michigan defeating the Gamecocks 34-3 on Sept. 21, 1985 at Williams-Brice Stadium.

The South Carolina Athletics Ticket Office is currently accepting bowl ticket requests from Gamecock Club members and University faculty and staff for the 2012 football postseason. The deadline to request tickets is Monday, December 3, at 8 p.m. Ticket prices are $75 for reserved seats and $160 for club seats.

Ticket requests may be submitted by signing in to Account Manager atGamecocksOnline.com/tickets or by calling the ticket office at 800.4SC.FANS (372.4267). In addition to normal operating hours (weekdays from 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.), ticket office phone lines are open Sunday, December 2, from 6-8 p.m. and will be open until 8 p.m. on Monday, December 3.

Tickets requested by the deadline will be assigned based on Gamecock Club priority points for members and by years of service for faculty and staff. Any tickets requested after the deadline will be sold on a first-come-first-served basis.

Tickets may go on sale to the public at a later date depending on availability.

Outback Bowl Announcement quotes

Head Coach Steve Spurrier
On the Outback Bowl announcement...
We are fired up and elated to be going to the Outback Bowl. It is one of the best bowls in the country on January 1, in Tampa, Florida. It's one of my favorite cities in Florida. Tampa is where I got my first opportunity as a head coach with the Tampa Bay Bandits in 1983. Our marketing director is now the director of the Outback Bowl, Jim McVay. It's neat to be going back down there. Four years ago when we went down there, we had a 7-5 record and had just been clobbered by Clemson. We were sort of in disarray. At that time, 7-5 got us in the Outback Bowl. We stunk it up and didn't play well. Hopefully, we're a different team. I feel we're a completely different team than we were four years ago. We're looking forward to going down there and competing at a very high level. Our more mature team with our senior leadership gives us a chance to represent South Carolina in a very positive way. We are certainly looking forward to going down there and trying to win our 11th game against the University of Michigan. A lot of people don't know, but the University of Michigan has won more college football games than any other school. They are the winningest team in college football. Brady Hoke, their head coach, is the brother of John Hoke who was the defensive coordinator my last three years at Florida. I got to know Brady a little bit here and there. He's done a super job at Michigan the last couple years. I look forward to hanging around him and their coaches down there. 
It's a big time opportunity for our university and our football program. I want to encourage our fans to buy your tickets through us at South Carolina. Hopefully, we'll have a really good crowd down there as we try to win our 11th game on Jan. 1, 2013. I think it's a 1 o'clock game. It probably will be beautiful weather down there, it usually is. It's a big opportunity for us. It's certainly an opportunity for me as a head coach to win an Outback Bowl. I have not won an Outback Bowl game. I've only been to one of them, so this is the second. Selfishly, I want to say I've won an Outback Bowl. This may be my last chance. I'm looking forward to getting our team ready. I believe our team will represent our university and our conference in a very positive way down there against Michigan. I know those guys will be fired up and ready to play. It should be a heck of a game and we're looking forward to it. 

On playing Michigan instead of rumored Northwestern...
Northwestern is a heck of a team. They are 9-3. They lost heartbreakers to Penn State and Nebraska. They easily could have been going to the Rose Bowl. If you beat or you get beat by Northwestern, you don't achieve as much as playing Michigan with their stature, tradition and reputation. It's something special. This is the first time I've had the chance to compete against them. Their former coach Bo Schembechler, I'm a great follower and have great respect for him as one of the best coaches of all time. Some of his sayings I'll still use today. I have tremendous admiration for Michigan, Michigan football and the players that have played there. 

Scouting Michigan...
I haven't watched anything yet. We didn't know we were going to play them until about an hour ago. Coach Tanner called me and said it looks like we're going to be playing Michigan. It's a challenge for us and we'll look forward to playing them in the Outback Bowl. 

Athletics Director Ray Tanner
On his first bowl season experience... 
It's been very exciting. It's been an eventful afternoon, that's for sure. I know people think this was done days ago. I can assure that wasn't the case. We're very excited to go to Tampa and play Michigan. I can't be more excited. Commissioner Slive and the staff at the SEC did a tremendous job of representing the University of South Carolina and we're excited. 

Senior Linebacker Shaq Wilson
On going back to his home state of Florida for his final collegiate game...
The team is very excited. There was a lot of texting each other when we found out where we were going. Most of us are ready to get back to practice right now and start going back at it and having fun. Especially a lot of our seniors, it will be our last collegiate game. Down in Florida, there will be great weather, a great atmosphere at the Outback Bowl and we're playing a great team in Michigan. We saw them a lot on TV. They're going against great competition every week. We know we've got our hands full. 

On Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson...
He's a Heisman candidate. He's a great player. I like the way he plays the game. He's fast and we have to do a good job of containing him. 

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