The USC football team capped its season with a dramatic 33-28 over Michigan here at the Outback Bowl in Tampa Tuesday. The Gamecocks scored the go ahead touchdown with 11 seconds to play when Dylan Thompson found Bruce Ellington for the winning score.
11 is the magic number for the USC lately. The win over Michigan gives the Gamecocks their second consecutive 11 win season, matching the school record total they hit last year. The win gives the Gamecock seniors 38 wins over the past five seasons, the most for any class in school history. All told this year’s team hit on eight of the ten goals it set before the season. The only areas they came up short were winning the SEC division and overall titles. Despite coming up short there, Steve Spurrier still walked away from the podium in at Raymond James Stadium proud of the season his team put together.
“A wonderful day for the Gamecocks,” Spurrier said. To get another 11 win season, back-to-back, gosh the two years have been very similar. …Our seniors, I can’t say enough about those guys.”
Other tid bits:
- Junior wide receiver Ace Sanders was named the game’s MVP. Sanders caught nine passes for 92 yards with two touchdowns (one from Shaw and one from Thompson). Sanders also returned a punt 63 yards for a touchdown.
- Sanders punt return for a score was his second of the season and the third of his career. East Carolina ins ’11 and Georgia earlier this season are is other two.
- Sanders joins former USC running back Ryan Brewer as the only player in in school history to score three touchdowns in a bowl game. Brewer also did it in the Outback Bowl in 2001.
- Connor Shaw broke off a 64 yard run in the third quarter, the longest of his career. It was also the Gamecocks longest rush from scrimmage this season. The drive ended in a missed field goal.
- Steve Spurrier said he awarded both Dylan Thompson and Connor Shaw a game ball. He said it is the first time in his career he gave two quarterbacks a game ball after a win.
- As Spurrier was walking away from the podim a reporter shouted, “Are you going to the NFL?” Spurrier responded with, “The NFL? I’ve already been there.”