October 20, 2012; Gainesville FL, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (7) rushes against the Florida Gators during the second half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Florida Gators defeated the South Carolina Gamecocks 44-11. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan Football: South Carolina vs. Michigan -- Outback Bowl -- First Preview

Posted at 5:30am — 12/28/2012

Michigan Football: South Carolina vs. Michigan — Outback Bowl — First Preview

Getting Closer to Game Time.

Some years it appears as if the Gamecocks do not take the bowl season as seriously as some other teams. The results have been a few recent losses and a couple of underperforming wins. South Carolina has lost three of its last four bowl games, this stretch includes bad losses to Connecticut and Iowa and a very convincing thumping of Nebraska last year.

One never knows about bowl games and how teams respond after a five-week layoff. On the surface, reports out of Columbia indicate the Gamecocks are going full speed ahead with some very serious preparation. It also appears the focus of practice has been game planning for Michigan instead of working in the youngsters. Attention has been paid to the preparation of two quarterbacks, Connor Shaw and Dylan Thompson.

South Carolina is 10-2, 6-2 in the Southeast Conference. This is the same record as Texas A and M, Louisiana State, and Georgia was 11-2. The highlight of the past season was a pounding of Georgia. South Carolina lost a close game to LSU and got blown out by Florida. Such is life in that meat grinder of a league.

South Carolina lost one of the nation’s top players, Marcus Lattimore, to a horrible leg injury. His injury meant that other running backs would hold the fort while the passing game improved. Connor Shaw sustained a foot injury, but back-up Dylan Thompson played well. As one would expect, Coach Steve Spurrier has never had any trouble preparing quarterbacks to come out of the bullpen. Both quarterbacks will play, according to Coach Spurrier.

Michigan has three casualties of team rules and South Carolina has two. There has been no indication from either side of academic casualties.

Coach Spurrier has been his normal, charming self in praising Michigan and being subdued somewhat about his team’s chances to win the bowl game. Make no doubt, Coach Spurrier likes big scalps, and the Michigan name is still a top shelf scalp.

October 20, 2012; Gainesville FL, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier prior to the game against the Florida Gators at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Coach Spurrier is now the winningest coach in school history in only eight seasons. His last three teams have won 30 games and the last two teams have won 21 games.

South Carolina has a bunch of high-level talent, much of it very young. Michigan will find itself facing another top ten team with better talent. None of the four potential match-ups, LSU, Florida, Texas A& M, and South Carolina, offered Michigan a great chance at victory. But with a month to prepare, Michigan will place much of its hopes on the game planning of Alchemist Al Borges and Greg Mattison. Of the most importance is how Michigan can deal with the great front four of South Carolina. This group must be slowed down or Michigan is in for a long day and may have difficulty putting any points on the board. Denard Robinson’s use will probably be Michigan’s best bet to find a solution for South Carolina’s front four. This is the time to be creative, study film, and be ready for any defensive schemes South Carolina will execute. Running the same offense Michigan ran in the second half against Ohio State will yield petty much identical results. It would not hurt for the interior line to have a good game as well. But South Carolina’s front four is at least as good as Ohio State’s probably better.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff

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