Michigan Football: South Carolina vs. Michigan -- Outback Bowl -- GBMWolverine Staff Predictions

Posted at 6:00am — 1/1/2013

Michigan Football: South Carolina vs. Michigan — Outback Bowl — GBMWolverine Staff Predictions

The 27th annual Outback Bowl will mark the third meeting between the Wolverines and the Gamecocks. The Wolverines are making their 42nd all-time bowl appearance (20-21 record). Michigan will be making its 36th January bowl appearance and will play in a January bowl game for the 14th time in the past 16 bowl trips. This will be the fifth time that Michigan plays in the Outback Bowl. The Wolverines own a 3-1 all-time mark in four previous Outback/Hall of Fame Bowl appearances (1988, 1994, 1997 and 2003).

Michigan has compiled a 7-4 record all-time against the Southeastern Conference (SEC) in bowl games. The most recent bowl match-up with the SEC came in the 2011 Gator Bowl, a 52-14 loss to Mississippi State on New Year’s Day. Prior to that meeting, Michigan earned a 41-35 victory over Florida in the 2008 Capital One Bowl.

Michigan has an 23-7-1 all-time record against schools from the SEC.

Brady Hoke is the first Michigan head coach to go undefeated at home in his first two seasons at Michigan since Fielding Yost (1901-02). Michigan is 18-1 under head coach
Brady Hoke when scoring 20 or more points. The Wolverines are 1-5 under Hoke when scoring less than 20 points.

Michigan has played this year the AP’s top three teams this season — #1 Notre Dame, #2 Alabama and #3 Ohio State — all away from Michigan Stadium. The Wolverines’ four losses this season came against teams with a combined record of 46-4. The Wolverines faced eight bowl-bound opponents during the regular season.

Michigan (8-4) vs. South Carolina (10-2)
Tuesday, January 1, 2013 — 1:00pm – 4:00pm Eastern Time
Raymond James Stadium (65,856), Tampa, Florida
ESPN (DirecTV Channel 206)
Play-by-Play -Mike Tirico
Color Analyst – Jon Gruden
Sideline Reports – Shannon Spake

The GBMWolverine staff have made their predictions, how about you? Come to the message board and make your prediction and also comment on the thread.

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

CoachBT:

I hate picking against Michigan.

Makes me feel like a traitor.

Having watched a ton of South Carolina film I just don’t like the match ups here.

Especially Michigan offense vs. Gamecock defense. SC is just too big and physical for Michigan to handle.

South Carolina 31
Michigan 20

Doc4Blu:

Most people nationally are expecting South Carolina to easily defeat Michigan. I give UM a one out of four chance of winning, one in three at the best. There will have to be factors that occur that have not occurred much of the 2012 season.

-Michigan will have to avoid the big turnover against a good defense, and south Carolina’s defense is probably similar to Notre Dame.
-Michigan will have to force a turnover of two to even the playing field a little.
-Michigan will need to stop the run game of South Carolina to prevent Spurrier from controlling the game and doing basically what he wants to do, when he wants to do so. Spurrier must be made to make decisions and not have an easy day on the sideline.

October 20, 2012; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Brady Hoke reacts to play during the 1st half at Michigan Stadium against the Michigan State Spartans. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

-The Michigan coaching staff will have already needed to create an effective offensive game plan, using the talent it has, understanding the limitations it has, and be willing to throw the ball more than many would think. In fact, Michigan may have to throw the ball quite a bit. Michigan only has one true runner that can create some yardage, Denard Robinson, and we will see his health status and what Borges’ plans for him are soon enough.

-Borges simply must make good choices on critical calls, or there will soon be no critical calls. There has been little use of the screen and draw package, something must be done to slow down the front four of SC. Short safe patterns, slants, curls, outs, etc always help against a tough defense. Michigan did some of this against Ohio State in the first half. Going wide on the running game has not been productive, but Denard on the toss sweep against a crashing D might be nice. How long his health holds out may be directly linked to Michigan’s chances.

-Tricks are nice, and there is a time for tricks on offense, but the tricks must be executed. Most of the times the past two years, Michigan’s tricks have backfired and cost the team big time. The entire bag of trick offense will not work, Michigan will need to actually run a true offense most of the time. If Michigan runs runners that have not produced behind interior blockers that have not produced early in the down count and get stuffed, then Michigan’s offense will be in the hole and likely will not produce much. It is a real question mark as to how much Michigan can sustain drives against South Carolina. Like it or not, the big play may be Michigan’s best bet.

-Clownney will not be controlled but there are certain things Michigan can do to try some minimalization. Spurrier may place him right at Michigan’s weakness, the interior, more so than normal. He is no one’s dummy. Michigan can find out where Clownney is, then use motion, change formations, or use an h-back that parks right at his front door. Michigan has not done well with the above.
-Gardner (assuming he plays qb) must make great decisions, this is asking a lot, but this must happen to keep the game close.

-There will be a couple of opportunities, just like at Notre Dame and Ohio State. These chances must be cashed in and not squandered.
-The defense will do what it always does- minimalize damage and tackle.
-The South Carolina receivers are very quick and shifty, this will be a very tough assignment for the “new” Michigan backfield.

All of the above is asking a lot frankly, perhaps too much. South Carolina has gone through some really nice practice sessions and Spurrier is focused. He relishes the idea of beating Michigan, out of respect and for no other reason. It is a nice notch he would like to have.

South Carolina 24
Michigan 10

ErocWolverine

Tough match-up for Michigan.

What changes will we see from the last couple of games to the bowl game?

Well it will be interesting to see how Denard is the featured back in this game and how he will be used.

How will the offensive line contain or be able to handle South Carolina’s defensive line. That to me is the biggest challenge in this game for Michigan.

For me this game is a tough game for Michigan to win unless they play their best game of the year.

Sep 1, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Michigan Wolverines defensive coordinator Greg Mattison on the sidelines against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Having played the top 3 ranked teams in college football this year (Bama, Domers, and Nuts) it will help them in this game of knowing what to expect, but frankly this team especially a player like Clowney who can basically take over a game all by himself.

Coach Mattison is going to have some major tricks up his sleeve with missing his two starters at the beginning of the year at cornerbacks. Think he will try and gamble quite a lot for this game which can be risk/reward type of deal for the Michigan defense.

The Michigan offense will need to bring their “A” game and try and be a balanced team and not just rely on Denard because that makes Michigan a lot easier to defend. Devin Gardner needs to start becoming the leader of this team to help not only in the bowl game, but to lead into next season with spring practices and winter work-outs.

In the end, I HOPE Michigan can pull a win out in this bowl game because I believe the Big Ten is in trouble this bowl season, but think South Carolina is to strong especially at the spots that Michigan is weak at during this time. Think South Carolina test our cornerbacks early and will likely force Michigan to back off a little bit to help in the passing game and then I see them using their running game to take control of the game.

Let’s hope this is like Michigan vs. Florida bowl game where everybody thought Michigan would be in trouble and came out with a great game plan and beat down the Urban Meyer Florida Gators.

South Carolina 32
Michigan 24

MaizeMan:

No prediction sent in this week.

Mike Fitzpatrick (TheMichiganManPodcast)

When this bowl pairing was announced I thought it was a good matchup for Michigan. With more time to study our opponent, and ponder how we matchup against them, now I’m not so sure. When you look at South Carolina’s offensive numbers you have to scratch your head and ask, how are they 10-2? The answer is their defense. 84 tackles for loss, 40 quarterback sacks, and they rarely blitz. This is an elite defense, which allows their offense to be good, not great, and compile their impressive record.

October 20, 2012; Gainesville FL, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks quarterback Connor Shaw (14) throws the ball against the Florida Gators during the first half at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

On offense they are led by a run first QB in Connor Shaw. His passing numbers are not gaudy (132 for 202, 15 td’s, 1780 yards passing, 7 pics) but they are very efficient. They use the zone read in the running game, and like to throw quick slants to their slot back type receivers. They just need to take care of the ball, and punt to turn it over to their defense if they can’t move.

On defense they are scary. Jadeveon Clowney is a one man wrecking crew with friends. This defense has not given up much all season, and gets stonger in the second half of games, after they figure out what opponents are doing. You simply cannot be one dimensional against these guys or they will shut you down.

Hopefully Denard has one final magical day planned for us. As it has been the last three years, Michigan’s offensive success will depend to a great degree on how Coach Borgess can get the ball into the hands of our game breaker. This game reminds me of how we matched up with Ohio State, although I think OSU is a better offensive team than SC. I think we’ll have early success, because SC doesn’t know exactly what we’ll be doing on offense. Come to think of it. Neither do I! The big thing will be, can we sustain our attack on offense? Once SC has had a chance to adjust it will come down to this question. Can our offensive line get consistant push, and can we keep them off balance ? If we can do that…we have a chance.

On defense I think we’ll be ok. We’ve played better offenses, or as good, and held up well. As long as the offense can eat some clock and avoid putting the defense in short field positions, I think we’ll be ok. In the end I think we will need to play better than we have all season. Hopefully the extra prep time will serve us well. This is a game Michigan has to find a way to win. Anyway. Just get a W however we have to wrangle it.

I hope I’m surprised, but if the SC defense is as good as I think it is, we will eventually have problems. Better days are ahead! They might not get here by Jan 1st though!

South Carolina 27
Michigan 17 – GO BLUE

SKWDCOP:

This will be a battle of defense (though the score will not reflect it), and personally I think our offense has more talent. Will Maizeman’s undisjointed play premonition come true? I say yes!

South Carolina 21
Michigan 35

WerlsWolverine

South Carolina 24
Michigan 27

YostMeister

I thought this was a tough draw when the bowl game was first announced. I have seen SC play multiple times this year and the biggest thing that stands out is their defensive speed and special teams play. I think we’ll have trouble matching up with them in that regard.

October 27, 2012; Columbia, SC, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks running back Marcus Lattimore (21) is carted off the field after being injured against the Tennessee Volunteers in the first half at Williams-Brice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

On offense, they lost their biggest threat at RB to a horrible injury. They still have good talent, though, and with our suspensions, the secondary just got that much weaker. Sure, losing depth at LB and the B1G’s top punter doesn’t help either, but not like the impact of losing Floyd. I call this a push or a slight edge to SC.

In the end, it’s SC’s ability to make big plays on defense that will decide this game.

South Carolina 27
Michigan 24.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff

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