Bounce back teams South Carolina, Notre Dame to Gator Bowl

Gamecocks on the sidelines
Gamecocks on the sidelines(Gamecock Football Twitter)
Published: Dec. 4, 2022 at 6:29 PM EST
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Bounce back teams in No. 19 Notre Dame and No. 20 South Carolina will play in the Gator Bowl on Dec. 30.

There were points earlier in the season when neither program was projected for the postseason. The Fighting Irish started the season 3-3 with home losses to Marshall and Stanford. The Gamecocks were 1-2 after blowout defeats to Arkansas and Georgia.

But both teams rallied down the stretch. Notre Dame won five of its last six, while South Carolina won three of its last four including stunning defeats of Top-10 opponents Tennessee and rival Clemson.

No. 20 South Carolina (8-4, Southeastern; No. 19 CFP) vs. No. 19 Notre Dame (8-4, FBS Independent, No. 21 CFP), Dec. 30, 3:30 p.m. ET

LOCATION: TIAA Bank Field , Jacksonville, Fla.

TOP PLAYERS

South Carolina: WR Antwane “Juice” Wells Jr., 63 catches, 898 yards, six touchdowns. He had 20 receptions for 308 yards and two touchdowns combined in the Gamecocks wins over No. 6 Tennessee and No. 10 Clemson to close the season.

Notre Dame: TE Michael Mayer, 67 catches, 809 yards, nine touchdowns. He totalled 21 catches for 280 yards and a touchdown in the Fighting Irish’s five-game win streak in the second half of the season.

NOTABLE

South Carolina: The Gamecocks could be the hottest team heading into the bowl season after knocking Tennessee and Clemson out of College Football Playoff contention with wins over the final two weeks of the regular season. Quarterback Spencer Rattler has said he expects to play in the bowl game.

Notre Dame: Fighting Irish quarterback Drew Pyne announced after the final week of the season that he’d enter the transfer portal and skip the bowl game. Pyne took over after Notre Dame’s 0-2 start to win eight of 10 games including a 35-14 win over No. 5 Clemson on Nov. 5.

LAST TIME

South Carolina 36, Notre Dame 32, Oct. 20, 1984.

BOWL HISTORY

South Carolina. The Gamecocks are 10-14 in bowls, including 0-3 in three previous Gator Bowls.

Notre Dame: The Fighting Irish reached their sixth straight bowl game and 11th in 12 season. Notre Dame is 19-21 all time in the postseason, including 1-2 in the Gator Bowl.