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Posted on Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 6 a.m.

Your mega guide to the Outback Bowl, No. 18 Michigan vs. No. 11 South Carolina

By Pete Cunningham


Drew Dileo goes up for a pass with a South Carolina defender during the first half of the Outback Bowl.

Melanie Maxwell |

GAME STORY: Outback heartbreak: Michigan comes close, but suffers crushing 33-28 loss to South Carolina in the Outback Bowl

WHO: No. 18 Michigan (8-4) vs. No. 11 South Carolina (10-2).

WHERE: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Fla.

WHEN: 1:00 p.m.

LIVE COVERAGE Follow the game action as it happens from Nick Baumgardner's live blog on the Michigan Football homepage. Also, be sure to follow Kyle Meinke (@kmeinke) and Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) on Twitter.

ODDS: South Carolina is favored by five points.

SERIES RECORD: Tied (1-1).

LAST MEETING: Saturday, September 21, 1985. Michigan won 34-3 at South Carolina.

WEATHER: Mostly sunny. Winds blowing from the Southwest at 5-10 m.p.h. Game-time temperature: Near 70.

BROADCAST INFORMATION: TV: ESPN; Radio: Michigan Sports Network (local affiliates).

MICHIGAN: Roster | Schedule

SOUTH CAROLINA: Roster | Schedule coverage: It may not be the New Year's Day bowl Michigan fans envisioned when the season began, but the Wolverines will wrap up their season on Tuesday. Another thing Wolverines fans probably never imagined when the season began: Denard Robinson will not start at quarterback in his final game as a Wolverine. Regardless of the position he's playing, Robinson no doubt wants to go out a winner and has a chance to do so in his home state on Saturday against No. 11 South Carolina. Here's everything you need to know about the game in one easy to read package:

It's official: Devin Gardner to start at QB for Michigan, Denard Robinson the No. 2

Denard Robinson may finish his career as one of the best quarterbacks in Michigan football history, but he will not be the starting quarterback in his final game in a winged helmet. When Robinson was hurt, backup Devin Gardner shined in his placed and Michigan coach Brady Hoke finally made it official on Monday: the Wolverines will go with the hot hand, Gardner, on Tuesday.

So long, Shoelace: Denard Robinson preparing to wrap up uncommon career

Tuesday's Outback Bowl will be the final game of Denard Robinson's illustrious, record breaking career at Michigan. Robinson's career at Michigan has been a whirlwind. While he may not be going out like he had planned, his career was one filled with more than its share of "wow" moments.

Michigan won't name starter at tailback, likely will go with committee approach

Michigan's starting tailback Fitz Toussaint had a disappointing junior season. That season became even more disappointing when he broke his leg against Ohio State. With Toussaint out, who is Michigan's No. 1 option at running back? If Brady Hoke knows, he's not telling.

Brady Hoke: Anybody, including Jadeveon Clowney, can be blocked 1-on-1

South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney leads the nation in sacks with 13 and in tackles for loss with 21.5. Brady Hoke still likes his team's chances against him, especially because lined up across from Clowney will be Michigan's First-Team All American, Taylor Lewan.

Denard Robinson practicing on return teams, Brady Hoke says

Since injuring a nerve in his throwing hand, Denard Robinson has been all over the place on the field. Michigan coach Brady Hoke revealed earlier in the week that Robinson has been practicing on return teams. Could we see Denard field a few kicks or punts against South Carolina?

Michigan plays SEC-caliber defense, South Carolina says

South Carolina plays in the Southeastern Conference, universally regarded as the best college football conference in all the land, especially on defense. The Gamecoacks say that based on what they've seen on film, the Wolverines defense looks like an SEC-type team.

Michigan OL Patrick Omameh wearing cast on hand

Just four days before the game, Michigan starting offensive lineman Patrick Omameh was seen wearing a cast on his hand. Omameh, according to a team spokesman, was wearing the cast for precautionary purposes. Will Omameh be able to play on Tuesday, and if so will he be 100 percent?

With video: Dennis Norfleet will play some cornerback in Outback Bowl

Dennis Norfleet wowed people all year with his speed and elusiveness in the return game for the Wolverines. That speed and quickness is now going to be displayed on the other side of the ball as Norfleet was switched to cornerback for the bowl game. Will it be a permanent switch for the 5-foot-7 speedster?

Outback Bowl holds special significance for 10 Floridians, including pirate-loving Brendan Gibbons

There are 10 players on Michigan's roster for whom Florida is home. Playing in the Outback Bowl may not be how they pictured their season ending when it began, but to end the season in their home state is still something special, especially for the seniors. Will they give the hometown crowd a victory to enjoy?

South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney oozing confidence heading into matchup against Taylor Lewan

Michigan's Taylor Lewan is an All-American offensive tackle. South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney is an All-American defensive end. Both are projected as top-15 NFL Draft picks -- Lewan this year, Clowney next year -- and will tangle in the most anticipated head-to-head matchup of the Outback Bowl.

South Carolina's Steve Spurrier has same old charm, but new-look offense

The Old Ball Coach's still got it -- the Southern charm, the quick wit, the fascinating tangents. He captivates with the best of them. And of course, he's still got a winner. But Steve Spurrier has shed one thing: The Fun 'n' Gun offense that brought him early success -- including a national title in 1996 -- at Florida. Will it be successful against Michigan?

This and That

Associated Press Preview:


South Carolina is trying to close out the most successful three-year run with the second 11-win season in school history. The Gamecocks, who've won four straight after consecutive losses to LSU and Florida derailed hopes of playing for the Southeastern Conference title, won 11 games for the first time last season. Michigan is trying to avoid ending a two-game losing streak. Three of the Wolverines' four losses came against the top three teams in the Associated Press poll — Notre Dame, Alabama and Ohio State — heading into the postseason.


South Carolina QB's Connor Shaw and Dylan Thompson against the Michigan defense, which ranks second in the nation against the pass (155.2 yards per game. Michigan standout left tackle Taylor Lewan vs. South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who has 13 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss. It's an All-American matchup.


MICHIGAN: QB Denard Robinson was replaced at QB by WR Devin Gardner late in the season after injuring his right elbow but has continued to contribute by running the ball and catching passes. Gardner is likely to start the Outback Bowl, however Robinson has thrown some passes in practice and coach Brady Hoke hasn't ruled out the possibility that he could play some at quarterback against South Carolina.

SOUTH CAROLINA: Shaw has thrown for 1,732 yards and 15 TDs, while backup Thompson has thrown for 910 yards and eight TDs, including 310 yards and three TDs while filling in for the injured Shaw during the Gamecocks' regular season-ending victory over Clemson.


Michigan's 42 bowl appearances are the most in college football history. The Wolverines are 20-21, including 7-4 all-time against Southeastern Conference teams in bowl games. They are 18-17 in January bowl games. ... South Carolina is making its seventh bowl appearance under coach Steve Spurrier, who's trying to become the first coach to win three bowl games at the school. The Gamecocks' 21 wins over the past two seasons are a school record. ... Michigan is 3-1 in four previous trips to the Outback Bowl, beating Alabama in 1988, North Carolina State in 1994 and Florida in 2003 and losing to Alabama in 1997. ... South Carolina is in the Outback for the fourth time. The Gamecocks beat Ohio State in 2001 and 2002, but lost to Iowa in 2009.

Pete Cunningham covers sports for He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @petcunningham.


Steven Murphy

Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 1:27 a.m.

I hope Gardner works on his passing.

Jonny Spirit

Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 11:21 p.m.

How about that EXPLOSION of a hit from Jadeveon Clowney #7 on Vincent Smith to cause a fumble. I think I heard Smith say "has anybody seen my helmet" Did you see the way Clowney palmed the ball when it was on the ground to recover the fumble. He is a beast. Michigan will never match up to an SEC team, no Big Ten team will. Lucky it was as close as it was! Stop, don't even tell me "only if we had" garbage. It was a good game and Michigan lost. But WHY was Denard not in o the last play, or why wasn't he in as a kick off return for the squib kick?

Homeland Conspiracy

Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 2:07 a.m.

That hit was one the best I have ever seen!!!


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 1:25 a.m.

Michigan owns the sec, sc was the lucky one. Our record vs sec is like 27-6....

Macabre Sunset

Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 12:48 a.m.

The hit was immense, but it was just one hit, and it wouldn't have happened had Lewan made the right decision in who to block. Take away a couple of plays (Black, for instance, completing the sack instead of trying to do a Tennessee Whirl with the quarterback) and it's a different result. South Carolina won, fair and square, but to say that a Big Ten team cannot match up to an SEC team is absurd. Northwestern beat a lower-ranked SEC team, Michigan lost a nail-biter to a higher-ranked SEC team.

Jonny Spirit

Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 11:52 p.m.

Here's a link to the video: WOW I can't stop watching it. BOOOOOOM!


Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 10:50 p.m.

Sounded like Brady Hoke wanted to use Denard for 30 touches, per post game radio interview. That got my attention. Denard should have been in on 50 or 60 offensive plays. Many times, he was in for one play then out. I'd give the offensive play calling a C- and would stick with that even if Michigan would have won the game.


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 1:24 a.m.

Play calling was actually great today, especially without a tailback...


Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 10:46 p.m.

11-2 and 8-5 in two years in which the upperclassman on the team had the following to deal with: 1) 3, or perhaps 4 defensive coordinators 2) completely revamped offensive schemes 3) completely revamped defensive schemes 4) completely re-adjusted special teams, and 5) let's face it, unusually small, but ok, athletic players. Folks, just wait until the next two years develop. We've had ridiculously good recruiting in 2011 and 2012, with players who will mature into our new systems, and we have the best overall coaching staff in the big ten, and in the country. Go Blue


Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 10:51 p.m.

I always appreciate glass half full comments.


Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 10:13 p.m.

Gallon should be the season MVP.......very tough kid.....he and Denard Robinson kept them in the game......just once I would like UM to be a good team......


Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 10:19 p.m.

I meant to say that just once could UM beat a good team......


Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 9:57 p.m.

Michigan found itself a defense. Unfortunately is seems to be one that Rich Rod left behind. Cannot remember so many big plays being given up since he has been gone. Also a little concerned that Gardner looked his best his first game as a starter. The more quarterback practice he got the less accurate he looked.


Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 9:52 p.m.

Thank you J.T. Foote! I hope whatever crap you pulled was worth letting your team down today. This loss is on YOU!!!!!!!!!


Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 10:42 p.m.

Yea, some of the suspensions ended up really hurting Michigan. The loss of one J.T. cost them. Not getting a few keys sacks on that game winning drive by SC also hurt.

Macabre Sunset

Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 9:49 p.m.

1. A complete failure on the coaching staff to address the lack of depth in the defensive backfield. There's no excuse for giving up so many big plays. 2. Taylor Lewan may have known his "decision" going in, but if he plans to go pro, he cost himself a fortune losing so many battles to Clowney. Clowney's very good, but he's not Reggie White. 3. I sincerely hope the young offensive linemen are as good as advertised, because this could make for a long 2013 if they aren't.


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 1:22 a.m.

Clowney had two great plays and one good one, lewan as the winner of that battle...


Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 10:47 p.m.

Point 1 criticsm is too harsh given that this was a weakness much of the season. Michigan simply didn't have the talent. Remember; Blake Countess was lost game one and then the J.T. Floyd suspension was too much to overcome. Not making excuses for the coaching staff or the players. SC was smart enough to expose the blaring weakness and I will have to credit them.

Laura Jones

Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 9:46 p.m.

Good game, appalling defense by Michigan during the 4th quarter.


Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 7:47 p.m.

Not enough of Denard in the first half. Better see much more in the second half. Things not looking good for the Maize and Blue.


Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 5:02 p.m.

Could you please hire a proofreader?

Jim Pryce

Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 3:13 p.m.

If DR shows up to play on Saturday as stated in the 1st paragraph, I think he'll miss the game.


Tue, Jan 1, 2013 : 12:42 p.m.

Shouldn't this be the banner story today, not a mall advertisement?