TAMPA, FL (WIS) - Here are three things that South Carolina must do in order to come away with a victory.
The Gamecocks will have to find a way to keep the Wolverines' pass rush at bay (no pun intended).
With a talented defense that has 103 tackles for loss to their credit, Michigan is quite capable of getting in the backfield. It'll be up to the Carolina offensive line to give Jake Bentley enough time to get his throws off, but it's also up to the skill players (wide receivers, running backs, and tight ends) to win the battle against their defense to give Bentley a target to hit. If Bentley holds the ball too long, it could be a long day for the boys in garnet.
It sounds so simple, but it's been the one thing that South Carolina has struggled with all year: putting up points in the first quarter.
The Gamecocks have been outscored in the opening quarter 60-51 by their opponents. That's an averaged of a little more than four points per game. When you look at the rest of USC's scoring by quarter, Will Muschamp's squad does a great job of coming out of the locker room and executing based on the adjustments made after two quarters of play. It may be a little easier to do that the first 30 minutes, but it's definitely going to benefit Carolina to get points early against a very tough Michigan defense.
Continue to Play Clean
South Carolina is among the top 20 teams in the nation in terms of fewest penalties committed.
Will Muschamp would like for his team to continue to play disciplined football in the Outback Bowl. The last thing Michigan needs is help from silly mistakes to either push the Carolina offense back or their offense forward. Meanwhile, the Wolverines are tied for 77th when it comes to penalties. It may be a small factor. It may not be, but it would certainly help Carolina's chances if they made sure not to draw any of those bright yellow flags.