By: Scott Crumbly
SEC Digital Network
TAMPA, Fla. – No. 10 South Carolina used a 32-yard touchdown pass from Dylan Thompson to Bruce Ellington with just 11 seconds remaining to defeat No. 18 Michigan in dramatic fashion in the Outback Bowl, 33-28.
Following a 17-yard scoring strike from Devin Gardner to Jeremy Gallon with 3:29 to play, Michigan held a one-point advantage over the Gamecocks (11-2). Not to be denied, South Carolina drove 70 yards in 11 plays to capture the win, with Thompson’s connection to Ellington capping the drive. Thompson, who took over midway through the game-winning drive for an injured Connor Shaw, completed seven of his nine passes for the game for 117 yards and two touchdowns in relief action.
Shaw also had an efficient day, completing 18 passes for 224 yards and two scores of his own in addition to a team-high 96 rushing yards. He completed five throws on the final drive before leaving the field. Ace Sanders had himself a game for USC, snagging a pair of touchdown receptions to go along with an electrifying 63-yard punt return score in the first quarter.
Denard Robinson hit the century mark on the ground for the Wolverines (8-5), while Gardner threw for three scores through the air. Gallon, a native of Central Florida, hauled in nine passes for Michigan en route to 145 yards and two scores in the losing effort.
Passing – Connor Shaw, 18-for-26, 224 yards, 2 TD
Rushing – Connor Shaw, 11 car, 96 yards
Receiving – Ace Sanders, 9 rec, 92 yards, 2 TD
Passing – Devin Gardner, 18-for-35, 214 yards, 3 TD, INT
Rushing – Denard Robinson, 23 car, 100 yards
Receiving – Jeremy Gallon, 9 rec, 145 yards, 2 TD
• Tuesday’s win over Michigan was number 11 on the season for South Carolina, marking the first time in school history that the Gamecocks have won 11 games in two consecutive seasons.
• The South Carolina senior class finished its tenure with 38 total wins, surpassing last year’s class (34 wins) for the most by any class in school history.
• Tuesday’s Outback Bowl was the seventh bowl appearance for South Carolina under head coach Steve Spurrier; no other coach has taken the Gamecocks to more than three bowl games.