South Carolina-Michigan Outback Bowl rematch means we can talk about The Hit again

South Carolina-Michigan Outback Bowl rematch means we can talk about The Hit again

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - South Carolina will face Michigan in the Outback Bowl, so that gives us permission to talk about the last time the Gamecocks faced the Wolverines in the Bloomin' Onion-friendly bowl.

Of course, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention a series of plays from that game that's etched into the minds of South Carolina fans -- most likely forever.

Facing 4th and 4, the Wolverines attempted to execute a fake punt on the Gamecocks at Michigan's 37-yard line.

At first glance, it appears the Gamecocks were able to stuff the run and get a much needed turnover on downs. However, it's close. The officiating crew brought out the chains for a more careful measurement and it looked as if Michigan was just short of that first down -- several chain lengths short, mind you.

Nope. The referee, despite the clear evidence, awarded Michigan the first down. An irate head coach Steve Spurrier is spotted chastising the ref and pointing out the obvious blown call.

Spurrier offered an explanation of the call in post-game comments.

"Well you know what, I asked one of those other refs there, I said, You know the ball did not touch the first down marker. He said, I know it didn't. I said, Well, why'd you give it to him, and he said, I don't know," Spurrier said. "That's what he said."

But, as football analyst Lee Corso said, no so fast, my friend.

With that fresh set of downs, Michigan opts to run it up the gut with RB Vincent Smith. But he's soon met by DE Jadeveon Clowney, who delivers one of the most vicious tackles of all time, causing Smith's helmet to pop off like a champagne cork. Smith also fumbles the ball in the process, giving Clowney the chance to scoop it up and recover it for the Gamecocks.

"The Hit," as its referred to in South Carolina football lore, changed the tide of the game that day, helping the Gamecocks secure a 33-28 victory over the Wolverines and cementing Clowney's legacy.

The Gamecocks face the Wolverines again on Jan. 1, 2018 in Tampa.

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