COLUMBIA, S.C. (TheBigSpur.com) - The South Carolina football program is headed to a bowl game.
The Gamecocks (2-8) will take on UAB in the Gasparilla Bowl on December 26. Kickoff for the game at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. is set for 12 p.m. and will be broadcast on ABC. South Carolina and the Blazers (6-3) have squared off three times in program history and all three have resulted in victories for the Gamecocks at Williams-Brice Stadium.
Brandon Marcello of 247Sports was first to report the news.
Despite the poor record and firing its former head coach during the season, South Carolina is back into a bowl game after missing the postseason last year. The Gamecocks were selected this year as one of the SEC bowl tie-ins and have stated that they would be willing to accept any invitation that was offered.
New head coach Shane Beamer has arrived in Columbia and is now full-time with the Gamecocks after helping Oklahoma to another Big 12 Championship, but he will not coach the team during the bowl game. He will, however, be around some as the team goes through practices in preparation for the game.
South Carolina will be down several key players who have either opted out for the rest of the season, or who have made their declaration for the NFL Draft and will skip the bowl game. The team will be without its top linebacker, top wide receiver and top offensive linemen, who are all seniors and are off to get ready for professional football. Three key members of the secondary opted out after the firing of Will Muschamp.
While there are also several injuries to players who will not participate in the game, the Gamecocks are expected to have enough players to participate in the bowl game. South Carolina was down in numbers severely in its final games of the season because of injuries, Covid and opt-outs.
The Gamecocks will be led by interim head coach Mike Bobo, who coached the team through the final three games of the regular season. The only assistant coach who is not currently scheduled to be with the team in the bowl game is offensive line coach Eric Wolford, who accepted a similar job at Kentucky.