South Carolina (2-8) has been selected to play in the Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl in Tampa, Fla., on Dec. 26th. The Gamecocks are set face UAB from Conference USA. Interim head coach Mike Bobo will continue on in his role through the bowl game and Bobo confirmed new head coach Shane Beamer will observe bowl practice.
South Carolina will take the field in Tampa without some players lost to opt-outs and transfers, but the bowl trip will mean extra practice time for young players looking to earn future playing time under Beamer. Bobo declined to reveal how deeply his depth chart has been affected but did acknowledge his team will be playing “shorthanded” against UAB. It has been previously reported that WR Shi Smith, OL Sadarius Hutcherson and LB Ernest Jones have moved on to prepare for the NFL draft. Bobo did confirm that Luke Doty will get his fourth consecutive start.
Regarding why the Gamecocks opted to take the opportunity to play in a bowl, Bobo cited the chance to get valuable time together, “You’ve got an opportunity to start taking ownership as an individual of your football team …. Why wait until next year to start working?”
The Gamecocks were last selected for a bowl following the 2018 season. An uninspired effort resulted in 28-0 loss to Virginia in the Belk Bowl in Charlotte. South Carolina’s last trip to Tampa came in Will Muschamp’s second season when the Gamecocks defeated Michigan 26-19 in the Outback Bowl. Four of South Carolina’s nine bowl victories have taken place in Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium, site of this year’s Gasparilla Bowl.
The Gasparilla Bowl will be broadcast by ABC and kick off Dec. 26th at noon.