It’s Jacksonville and Notre Dame for #Gamecocks

MarShawn Lloyd and USC are headed to the Gator Bowl (Chris Gillespie)

USC is headed to the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville for a December 30th date with Notre Dame the school announced Sunday afternoon. Kickoff on ESPN will be 3:30 PM. The Gamecocks are 8-4 and ranked 19th in the final CFP Ranking. The Fighting Irish are also 8-4 and ranked 21st.

Here’s the full release from USC:

The University of South Carolina Gamecocks have accepted a bid to play in the 78th TaxSlayer Gator Bowl against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, it was announced today. The game will be played at TIAA Bank Field (67,164) in Jacksonville, Fla., on Friday, Dec. 30, 2022, with kickoff scheduled for 3:30 pm ET. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN.

The Gamecocks (8-4, 4-4 SEC) are ranked 19th in the final College Football Playoff Rankings, 20th in the Associated Press poll and 19th in the AFCA Coaches poll. Carolina finished the 2022 regular season on a high note, knocking off a pair of top-10 teams in No. 5 Tennessee, 63-38 and No. 7 Clemson, 31-30, in its last two games. After opening the season with a 1-2 mark, the Gamecocks won seven of their final nine contests, including three over ranked opponents.

Notre Dame (8-4) finished the regular season ranked 21st in the CFP Rankings, 19th in the A.P. poll and 20th in the Coaches’ poll. After opening the season with a pair of losses and standing at just 3-3 at the midway point, the Irish went on a five-game winning streak before falling to Southern Cal in their regular season finale.

The Gamecocks and Irish have met four previous times on the gridiron but have not faced each other since 1984. Notre Dame won the first three meetings, a 13-6 win in Columbia in 1976, an 18-17 victory in South Bend in 1979, and a 30-6 win in Columbia in 1983. The Gamecocks got exacted some revenge with a 36-32 win in South Bend during the 1984 season, the last time the two teams met.

The Gamecocks will be appearing in their 25th bowl game. They own a 10-14 mark in the previous 24 contests. Carolina has posted a 10-6 mark in its last 16 bowl contests after dropping its first eight bowl games. The Gamecocks rolled to a 38-21 win over North Carolina in the 2021 Duke’s Mayo Bowl, the sixth win in their last eight bowl appearances.

This will mark the Gamecocks’ fifth trip to the Jacksonville and the Gator Bowl, but the first since 1987. The Gamecocks are still looking for their first Gator Bowl win. South Carolina’s very first bowl game was the Gator Bowl on Jan. 1, 1946, when the Gamecocks dropped a 26-14 decision to Wake Forest. South Carolina also lost the 1980 Gator Bowl to Pittsburgh by a 37-7 score, the 1984 Gator Bowl to Oklahoma State by a 21-14 margin, and the 1987 Gator Bowl to LSU, a 30-13 setback.

The Gator Bowl is operated by Gator Bowl Sports. It has been held continuously since 1946, making it the sixth-oldest college bowl, as well as the first one ever televised nationally.

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