South Carolina is headed back to the Outback Bowl.
It’s a familiar spot for the Gamecocks (8-4). South Carolina will be making its fifth appearance in the Jan. 1, Tampa, Fla., game, and their first since 2013. Just like in that game, the Gamecocks will face the Michigan Wolverines (8-4).
South Carolina is 3-1 in its three previous appearances in the Outback Bowl, which will kick off at noon and be broadcast on ESPN2.
This is the second straight bowl game for South Carolina, which is in its second season under head coach Will Muschamp. After the 3-9 2015 season, the Gamecocks improved to 6-6 in the 2016 regular season before losing 46-39 to USF in the Birmingham Bowl.
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“There is a lot of progress being made,” Muschamp said earlier this season. “We’re not happy with where we’re at, don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. We have a lot more out there for us moving forward, but I am very proud of the progress we have been able to make. I’m really proud of this football team and how they have invested in us and invested in themselves and each other.”
The Gamecocks have won five of their last seven games heading into the bowl game and already have more wins in a season than they have had since 2013.
“When you talk in terms of progress, you have to be able to show recruits, you also have to be able to show your team,” Muschamp said. “As hard as we work, as much time and effort that they put into what we do and how we do it, you have to be able to point to certain things and say, ‘This is why you’re working, this is why we’re doing these things.’ You have to have positive reinforcements.”