Michigan was upended by South Carolina 33-28 in the Outback Bowl. The Wolverines were gashed by numerous big plays. It started early and continued throughout the game. At halftime, Michigan’s defensive coordinator, Greg Mattison, said in a radio interview that they could stop South Carolina, but they had to prevent the big plays. Unfortunately they were not able to do that. The Gamecocks amassed 426 yards of offense, 341 through the air.
Here is a list of the big plays that undid the Wolverines in the Outback Bowl
Connor Shaw completed a 56 yard touchdown pass to Damiere Byrd
Ace Sanders returned a punt 63 yards for a touchdown
Dylan Thompson completed a 70 yard pass to Nick Jones
Connor Shaw rushed for 64 yards
Connor Shaw completed a 31 yard touchdown pass to Ace Sanders
Dylan Thompson completed a 32 yard touchdown pass to Bruce Ellington with 11 seconds left in the game.
Michigan dominated time of possession 38:04 to 21:56. Jeremy Gallon was outstanding with 9 receptions for 145 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Brady Hoke opened up the play book and was a bit of a riverboat gambler. He called for a fake field goal and a fake punt. Both plays resulted in first downs. The fake field goal netted the Wolverines a successful field goal. The fake punt looked to be short of the first down and that appeared to be confirmed when the referees measured it. However, they somehow ruled it a first down. On the next play Jadeveon Clowney took matters into his own hands and demolished Vincent Smith, causing Smith to lose not only his helmet, but also the football. On the next play, Connor Shaw hit Ace Sanders for a 31 yard touchdown.
Michigan was able to answer with a 10 play, 64 yard touchdown drive that gave them a 28-27 lead with 3:29 left to play. South Carolina began their drive at the 30 yard line. The game hung in the balance on a 4th down and 3 from the Gamecocks 37 yard line. Shaw hooked up with who else, Ace Sanders, for a first down and that gave South Carolina momentum as the clock was ticking away. Dylan Thompson relieved Shaw on that final drive and ended up tossing the game-winning touchdown pass with 11 seconds to play.
The bottom line is Michigan’s defense had a chance to overcome all those big plays they surrendered, if they could thwart South Carolina on that final drive. Instead they came up just short on several sack attempts, including one on that fateful 4th down and 3, and were unable to seal the victory for the Wolverines.
The loss drops Michigan to a disappointing 8-5 on the season. The good news is they have found their quarterback for next year. Devin Gardner played well again and was poised against a fierce South Carolina defensive line. Gardner finished the game 18 of 35 for 214 yards with 3 TD passes.
Denard Robinson rushed for 100 yards and became the NCAA’s career rushing leader among quarterbacks.
Matt Wile booted a 52 yard field goal and punted 3 times for 144 yards, averaging 48 yards per punt.
In the Brady Hoke era, Michigan is 5-7 in games not played at Michigan Stadium
Here is a look at next year’s schedule: Michigan Football 2013 Schedule
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