It is obvious Michigan had a frustrating 2017 regular season. You know it. I know it. Everyone knows it.
But that doesn’t mean Michigan can’t end the regular season on a high note, and that’s exactly what the Wolverines will try to do on Jan. 1 in the Outback Bowl against South Carolina, a team that has had a pretty similar season to the Wolverines.
Let’s dig a bit deeper to see how the SEC East runner-up did during the regular season.
South Carolina Gamecocks
Head coach: Will Muschamp (2nd season)
Record: 8-4 (5-3 in SEC), 2nd in SEC East
Best win: At Missouri (#32 in S&P) 31-13
Worst loss: Home against Kentucky (#94 in S&P) 23-13
Key offensive players: QB Jake Bentley (2,555 passing yards, 16 TD, 11 INT, 62.2 completion percentage), WR Bryan Edwards (59 receptions, 705 yards, 4 TDs), RB A.J. Turner (530 rushing yards, 3 rushing TDs, 18 receptions, 117 receiving yards).
Key defensive players: LB Skai Moore (88 tackles, 8 TFL, 2 sacks, 3 INTs), DL D.J. Wonnum (52 tackles, 13 TFL, 6 sacks, 1 blocked kick), DB Jamyest Williams (38 tackles, 4 TFL, 2 INTs, 1 fumble recovery), DL Dante Sawyer (29 tackles, 5 TFL, 3 sacks and 5(!!!) forced fumbles).
Special teams: The Gamecocks have had some issues kicking field goals this season. Kicker Parker White is 12-of-22 on his field goals for the year, with a long of 47 yards. He is 3-of-10 from 40-49 yards and 0-of-2 from 50+ yards. Meanwhile, redshirt freshman kicker Alexander Woznick is 1-of-3 on field goals, with that one field goal being from 32 yards out. White and Woznick combined are 34-of-35 on extra points.
WR Deebo Samuel, who will not play in the Outback Bowl, has two kick returns all season and both went for touchdowns. He played in the first three games of the season before suffering a season-ending leg injury. The Gamecocks have not scored a special teams touchdown since.
Key stats: 98th in scoring offense (24.1 PPG), 108th in total offense (340.2 YPG), 79th passing offense (212.9 passing YPG), 107th rushing offense (127.3 rushing YPG), 51st in total defense (374.6 YPG), and 17th in fewest penalties per game (55).
Key quote from Muschamp on injuries to the team: “Injury-wise, (RB) A.J. Turner, (TE) K.C. Crosby and (RB) Rico Dowdle should all be back for the bowl game. They should be ready to go. (WR) Terry Googer has not been cleared, and obviously (WR) Deebo (Samuel) and (LB) Bryson Allen-Williams will be out.”