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Outback Bowl preview: Michigan vs. South Carolina

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By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

The Michigan Wolverines faces the South Carolina Gamecocks in the Outback Bowl on Monday afternoon. The game will kick off at noon on ESPN2 from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.

Both teams have identical 8-4 records.

South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley is seen here rushing the ball against the Clemson Tigers (Getty Images)

South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley is seen here rushing the ball against the Clemson Tigers (Getty Images)

According to Covers.com Consensus Analysis, the Gamecocks have a 58% chance to win this game, according to their public poll. Their expert poll; however, gives the Gamecocks a 61% chance to win this game.

This is the fourth career meeting between these two teams. This is the second-time they are meeting in the Outback Bowl, as South Carolina won 33-28 on January 1st, 2013.

The Gamecocks leads the series 2-1. They also won 17-14 on September 27th, 1980.

Michigan’s only win in this series came on September 21st, 1985 when they won 34-3.

The Wolverines are 21-24 all-time in Bowl games. They lost their last Bowl game, losing 33-32 to the Florida State Seminoles in the Orange Bowl on December 30th, 2016.

They have not won a Bowl game since defeating the Florida Gators, 41-7, in the Citrus Bowl on January 1st, 2016.

Michigan is 3-2 all-time in Outback Bowl appearances. Outside of the loss to the Gamecocks in 2013, their last win in the Outback Bowl came on January 1st, 2003 when they won 38-30 over the Gators.

They are 16-16 all-time playing on New Year’s Day. They are 1-1 in Bowl games under head coach Jim Harbaugh.

This is their 18th Bowl game in the State of Florida. They are 10-7 in Bowl games in the State of Florida.

The Gamecocks are 8-13 all-time in Bowl games. Like the Wolverines, they lost their last Bowl game, as they lost 46-39 to the South Florida Bulls in the Birmingham Bowl on December 29th, 2016.

South Carolina has not won a Bowl game since defeating the Miami (Florida) Hurricanes, 24-21, in the Independence Bowl on December 27th, 2014.

They are 0-1 with Will Muschamp as their head coach in Bowl games.

This will be their fourth team that they have met at least in Bowl games. The Wolverines join the Ohio State Buckeyes, West Virginia and the Missouri Tigers, who have faced South Carolina twice in Bowl games.

With a win over the Wolverines, the Gamecocks won improve to 2-0. They are also 2-0 against the Buckeyes, defeating them in 2000 and 2001.

South Carolina is 4-2 all-time on New Year’s Day games. This is their 13th Bowl game in the State of Florida, as they are 6-6.

Michigan lost their last two regular-season games, as they lost to the Wisconsin Badgers and the Ohio State Buckeyes. They have not won a game since November 11th when they defeated the Maryland Terrapins, 35-10.

South Carolina lost its regular-season game, losing to the Clemson Tigers, 34-10. They have not won a game since defeating the Wofford Terriers, 31-10, on November 18th.

Michigan is averaging 25.8 points per game. South Carolina is averaging 24.1 points per game.

Wolverines quarterback John O’Korn has gone 83 of 156 for 956 passing yards. He had two touchdowns and six interceptions.

Karan Higdon leads the running backs with 147 carries for 929 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns. Grant Perry leads the receivers with 25 receptions for 307 receiving yards and one touchdown.

Gamecocks quarterback Jake Bentley has gone 226 of 362 for 2,555 passing yards. He had 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

A.J. Turner leads the running backs with 92 carries for 517 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Bryan Edwards leads the receivers with 59 receptions for 705 receiving yards and four touchdowns.

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