Hale McGranahan/SEC Country
In just his second year at the helm, South Carolina coach Will Muschamp has the Gamecocks playing in a New Year's Day bowl.

South Carolina learns its bowl fate; plus, a holiday recruiting wish list for Gamecocks

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Bowl bound

The South Carolina Gamecocks football team will see a familiar face when it takes the field in Tampa, Fla., on New Year’s Day.

For the second time in five years, South Carolina will face the Michigan Wolverines in the Outback Bowl.

“It’s an opportunity for us to show the progress of our program,” South Carolina coach Will Muschamp told reporters on Sunday night. “It’s an opportunity to develop our football team. … In essence, having another spring practice.”

This is the fourth all-time meeting between the two schools. South Carolina leads the series, 2-1.

Previewing Big Blue

SEC Country’s Hale McGranahan took a quick look at South Carolina’s bowl opponent.

“Defensively, Michigan [8-4 overall, 5-4 Big Ten] is among the best in the country,” McGranahan wrote. “The Wolverines are first in pass defense, giving up 142.7 yards per game, and 21st against the run.”

On offense, the Wolverines are lead by a three-headed monster at running back: Karan Higdon, Chris Evans and Ty Isaac.

Holiday wish list

With the early signing period just weeks away, the Gamecocks have a number of prospects they’re looking to get on board this month, including 4-star cornerback Jaycee Horn and 3-star safety Israel Mukuamu.

“It’s time to hustle for Mukuamu, who’s going to graduate in December from Parkway High School in Bossier City, La. Muschamp and defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson will see him on Monday,” McGranahan writes. “Horn [Alpharetta, Ga.] returned to South Carolina for the Clemson game, about 24 hours before he pulled the plug on his commitment to Tennessee.”

Horn is rated as the No. 22 cornerback in the Class of 2018, according to 247Sports. Mukuamu is ranked as the No. 38 safety.

Coming up short

The South Carolina women’s soccer team fell to Stanford 2-0 in the national semifinals on Friday night. This was the program’s first-ever appearance in the College Cup, the women’s soccer equivalent of the Final Four.

Despite not reaching the national championship, the Gamecocks had a season to remember in 2017, posting a 19-3-1 record and winning their second consecutive SEC regular-season crown.

Bouncing back

Coach Frank Martin and his South Carolina men’s basketball team got back on track Saturday, beating UMass 76-70 at Colonial Life Arena.

Though the Gamecocks recovered from their loss to Temple on Thursday, Martin wasn’t pleased with the effort of his team or the home crowd.

With the win, the Gamecocks improves to 6-2.

Domination

The defending national champion and No. 5-ranked South Carolina women’s basketball team flexed its proverbial muscles on Sunday with an impressive 72-52 win against No. 14 Duke.

Redshirt junior forward Alexis Jennings led the way with 21 points and 10 rebounds.

The win moved the Gamecocks to 8-1 on the season.

Feel-good flashback

South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney became a household name the last time the Gamecocks and Wolverines met on the gridiron in the 2013 Outback Bowl.

Thanks in large part to “The Hit” Clowney delivered on Michigan RB Vincent Smith, South Carolina won the game 33-28 and finished the year with the program’s second-ever 11-win season.

Clowney and the play took home the award for “Best Play” at the 2013 ESPY Awards.

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