The 2018 Outback Bowl between Michigan and South Carolina begins at noon ET on Monday, January 1, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. Find the score and live updates below.
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Outback Bowl 2018 score: Updates on Michigan-South Carolina
South Carolina 26, Michigan 19 (FINAL): Michigan QB Brandon Peters is intercepted on fourth down, allowing the Gamecocks to take a knee for the win.
South Carolina 26, Michigan 19 (1:43, 4Q): South Carolina can’t cement the win, as the Gamecocks miss a long field goal.
South Carolina 26, Michigan 19 (3:23, 4Q): The Gamecocks add a field goal to stretch the lead before Michigan turns it over on downs.
South Carolina 23, Michigan 19 (7:53, 4Q): Michigan makes it inside the South Carolina 10, but JaMarcus King intercepts Brandon Peters in the end zone on third-and-goal from the 5. King caught Peters’ pass, intended for Donovan Peoples-Jones.
Worth noting: Michigan running back Karan Higdon has 65 rushing yards today, and has 994 yards for the season.
South Carolina 23, Michigan 19 (11:33, 4Q): South Carolina has started throwing, and can’t stop. Jake Bentley has come alive, and so have the Gamecocks, who erased a 16-point deficit and have taken the lead on Shi Smith’s 53-yard touchdown catch early in the fourth quarter.
A key play in South Carolina’s go-ahead drive: Bentley’s 23-yard pass to tight end Hayden Hurst on third-and-17 from the Gamecocks 12.
End of the third quarter: Michigan 19, South Carolina 16
Michigan 19, South Carolina 16 (0:51, 3Q): A fumble on a handoff burns Michigan. Brandon Peters botched a handoff to tight end Sean McKeon, which South Carolina recovered at the Michigan 21. The Gamecocks needed one play to get back within striking distance: Bentley’s touchdown to Bryan Edwards that helped cut the lead to 3 points.
Michigan 19, South Carolina 9 (2:25, 3Q): South Carolina scores its first touchdown, a 17-yard run by Rico Dowdle that finished a drive of 3 minutes, 17 seconds. The Gamecocks capitalized on defensive miscues, including a hiccup by safety Josh Metellus near midfield, but Devin Bush Jr. breaks up Bentley’s 2-point conversion throw to help the Wolverines maintain a 10-point lead.
Michigan 19, South Carolina 3 (5:42, 3Q): Quinn Nordin makes his fourth field goal of the day, and his second of longer than 40 yards. This time, he didn’t make an obscene gesture.
Michigan 16, South Carolina 3 (7:49, 3Q): Khaleke Hudson’s pass breakup bounced off his pads as he defended against a South Carolina receiver. Noah Furbush caught the carom and returned it to the 27.
South Carolina safety D.J. Smith was ejected for targeting after a hit on Donovan Peoples-Jones on third and 8, whihch moved the Wolverines to the Gamecocks 9. However, Higdon lost the ball inside the 5, and Michigan unsuccessfully challenged the call, and loses a timeout. South Carolina starts on its own 4.
Michigan 16 South Carolina 3 (9:56, 3Q): After going 11 for 23 passing in the first half, Brandon Peters opened it up in the second half. Peters went 4-for-4 for 54 yards on Michigan’s opening drive of the third quarter and steered the Wolverines to a touchdown — the first touchdown of the game.
Peters’ 27-yard pass to Kekoa Crawford put Michigan in the red zone, followed by Karan Higdon’s run that set up Mason’s touchdown.
- Hooray for Quinn Nordin. The redshirt freshman kicker began his season by making his first four field goal attempts against Florida. He had his struggles late in the regular season but he is 3-for-3 today in the first half, accounting for all of Michigan’s points. He calmly dealt with South Carolina calling time out before he made a 45-yard attempt at the gun.
- South Carolina has run 20 plays in the first half. The Michigan defense has allowed the Gamecocks 3 yards or less on 13 of the plays.
- Unfortunately for Michigan, the South Carolina defense has been equally as stingy. The Wolverines have just 97 yards of offense. They have produced 6 first downs to just 3 for South Carolina and they’ve taken advantage of two South Carolina turnovers. Not as much of as advantage as they’d like but 6 points off turnovers is better than none. Michigan hasn’t turned the ball over. That will be key to continue in the second half.
- Quarterback Brandon Peters is 11 of 23 for 76 yards in the first half. Good news is that Michigan is trying to throw the ball. The bad news is that it’s not doing a great job of completing those passes. Peters has missed a few throws, and he’s been under pressure.
- Punter Brad Robbins has had a tough first half, and even got replaced for one punt by Will Hart. Field position is key in a game like this where the defenses are dominating. Robbins averaged 32.8 yards on five punts. He has to be better.
HT stats: Michigan 9, South Carolina 3 pic.twitter.com/DpLEV5jItm
— Kevin Goheen (@CincyGoGo) January 1, 2018
Halftime: Michigan 9, South Carolina 3
Michigan 9, South Carolina 3 (0:00, 2Q): Quinn Nordin kicks his third field goal, a 45-yard attempt, as time expires to hold its lead. Brandon Peters revived a drive with a 10-yard pass to Sean McKeon on fourth-and 4 from the Gamecocks 43, giving Michigan a prime opportunity to make it a two-score game. The Wolverines, however, stalled inside of the 30.
Michigan 6, South Carolina 3 (4:28, 2Q): Michigan capitalized on a review that negated a first-down spot for South Carolina. Inestead of first-and-10 from the South Carolina 45, Maurice Hurst and Khaleke Hudson stopped South Carolina running back Rico Dowdle on fourth-and-1 from the 44.
Michigan 6, South Carolina 3 (8:45, 2Q): South Carolina utilized a long pass by Jake Bentley to Bryan Edwards (38 yards — South Carolina’s longest play from scrimmage so far today) to get into Michigan territory at the 23, but got pushed back, a drive that included Khaleke Hudson’s pass breakup that forced the Gamecocks to line up for a field goal.
Parker White kicked a 44-yard field goal to cut Michigan’s lead in half.
End of the first quarter: Michigan 6, South Carolina 0.
Michigan 6, South Carolina 0 (0:19, 1Q): Chase Winovich recovers a fumble after a bad handoff by South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley on first-and-10 from the Gamecocks 33, and Michigan starts its drive on the 31. Michigan got a boost from a 14-yard face mask penalty against defensive lineman Daniel Fennell, but couldn’t move much inside the 10. Nordin kicked his second field goal, a 26-yard attempt.
Michigan 3, South Carolina 0 (3:42, 1Q): Michigan takes advantage of a special teams error by South Carolina. The Gamecocks misplayed a punt by Brad Robbins, and Michigan recovered the bobble at the South Carolina 46-yard line. Peters connects with Kekoa Crawford on third-and-10 for the first first down of the game (yes, you read that right), to put Michigan at the 34.
Three plays later, Nate Schoenle’s catch from Peters on third-and-7 from the 21 is 3 yards short, and sets up Quinn Nordin’s 35-yard field goal.
Michigan 0, South Carolina 0 (12:23, 1Q): Both Michigan and South Carolina have gone 3-and-out on their first drives, but quarterback pressure is evident early. South Carolina’s T.J. Brunson sacked Michigan quarterback Brandon Peters on third-and-3 for a loss of 7 yards, and Michigan’s Maurice Hurst pressured South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley on third-and-4.
Michigan 0, South Carolina 0, (15:00, 1Q): The Wolverines and the Gamecocks have kicked off at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.
A few seats still available at Raymond James Stadium … pic.twitter.com/wnabz5ABO9
— Rachel Lenzi (@RLenziCMG) January 1, 2018
Michigan has three players who weren’t in uniform for warmups: OL Ben Bredeson, RB Ty Isaac and RB Kareem Walker. Michigan hasn’t commented on the availability or status of any of those three players. More on the absences.
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Michigan-South Carolina game time, details
What: 2018 Outback Bowl
Who: Michigan (8-4) vs. South Carolina (8-4)
Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Fla.
When: Jan. 1, 2018
Kickoff time: noon ET
TV channel: ESPN2
Watch online: WatchESPN
Michigan-South Carolina football odds
Michigan is favored by 7.5 points and the over/under on points is 43, according to MyBookie.ag.
Outback Bowl 2018 preview
The Wolverines’ quarterback competition for 2018 starts with the final game of the 2017 season. No one knows yet if Shea Patterson will be eligible to play next season after transferring from Mississippi. Regardless, Brandon Peters has the opportunity to set the tone for next season in the Outback Bowl.
He did a good job after replacing John O’Korn in the second half Oct. 28 against Rutgers and the next three games as the starter before sustaining a concussion Nov. 18 at Wisconsin. Peters was efficient, if not spectacular, by completing 37 of 64 passes for 486 yards, 4 touchdowns and no interceptions in five games. He lost 1 fumble, but overall put the Wolverines offense in good position. Peters and the offense have had five weeks to practice and show they can do more than plod down the field.
The Wolverines averaged just 168.6 yards passing per game this season, ranking 11th in the Big Ten, and didn’t top 200 yards through the air after a 28-10 win at Purdue on Sept. 23. South Carolina has allowed nearly 230 yards passing per game this season. Michigan didn’t have a pass play of 50 yards this season, and none of its receivers had a 100-yard game. The wide receivers, as a group, became a non-factor in the past month of the regular season, as tight ends Sean McKeon and Zach Gentry became the main targets.
If Michigan wants to win this game, the passing game must be a bigger factor in the offense. The offensive line also needs to show more consistency. Left tackle Mason Cole is expected to start his 51st consecutive game for Michigan, a streak that began with the 2014 season opener against Appalachian State. That’s been the only consistent aspect of an offensive line that has taken care of business against lesser opponents but struggled to find cohesion in losses to Michigan State, Penn State, Wisconsin and Ohio State.
South Carolina’s defense offers the Wolverines’ offensive line an opportunity to send out Cole and fifth-year center Patrick Kugler on a high note. The Gamecocks allow an average of 374.6 yards per game, and 5.3 yards per play, which is 88th in the country. In order for Peters and the offense to open up the passing game, the offensive line has to give him time to throw. Michigan has allowed 2.8 sacks per game; only Maryland and Illinois allowed more sacks per game.
Michigan also needs to play with the attitude that this game is important, because it is. Both teams have something significant to play for beyond just winning. Michigan’s best win this season came against Purdue, a team that went 6-6 in the regular season and faced Arizona in the Foster Farms Bowl. After consecutive 10-win campaigns in the first two seasons under coach Jim Harbaugh, the Wolverines can notch their ninth victory of 2017 in this game. The program hasn’t had three consecutive 9-win seasons since 2002-04, when Lloyd Carr was the coach. The 2004 team that went 9-3 was the last Michigan team to win the Big Ten title.
Harbaugh has been criticized for his lack of success in big games, namely going 1-5 against rivals Michigan State and Ohio State. Michigan is 1-1 in bowl games with Harbaugh at the helm. The Wolverines beat Florida, 41-7, in the Citrus Bowl in January of 2016 and lost to Florida State 33-32 in the Orange Bowl in December of 2016. Adding a second bowl win in three seasons and improving to 3-0 against SEC schools would be a positive for Harbaugh and for the Wolverines, as they prepare for 2018.