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Published: Tue, January 02, 2018
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

MI surrenders 23 unanswered points in Outback Bowl loss

MI surrenders 23 unanswered points in Outback Bowl loss

Hours before the playoff took center stage, MI could not close the deal on the Big Ten's ultimate statement.

In what was a rather boring first half with the only scoring coming from four field goals, it ended with a bit of controversy.

But South Carolina answered with a six-play, 77-yard touchdown drive aided by a Josh Metellus late hit.

Then, with MI driving inside the Gamecock 10-yard line, JaMarucs King delivered with the biggest play of his season.

MI was a heavy favorite against SC, with spreads ranging from MI -8 to MI -12. Fullback Ben Mason scored on a 1-yard run in helping MI build its 16-point lead. His 48-yard field goal with 5:42 to go in the third quarter gave MI its 19-3 lead. Sophomore wide receiver Bryan Edwards had five catches for 88 yards and a touchdown.

After the Gamecocks took the lead less than four minutes into the fourth quarter, consecutive MI mistakes ensued: Peters threw an interception to JaMarcus King and Donovan Peoples-Jones fumbled a punt return. Given a chance to tie the score in the final four minutes, he threw incomplete on four straight passes from his 25.

Play of the game: Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp chose to defer after winning the coin toss, presumably believing his defense could hold MI and give USC good field position. Turnovers once again plagued the Wolverines.

Quarterback Brandon Peters struggled, completing just 20/44 passes for 186 yards with two interceptions.

The second half had little in common with the first, which saw neither team manage 100 yards in total offense or a touchdown.

The Gamecocks trailed 9-3 at halftime after managing just 89 yards in the first 30 minutes.

Quinn Nordin went 3 of 3 on field goals for all of the Wolverines' first-half points.

SC is now 3-1 all-time against MI, college football's winningest program. The Wolverines fell to 8-5 on the season and did not beat a team this year that finished the season with a winning record.

SC was able to finish the season on a high note with a win over MI in the Outback Bowl.

SC (9-4) forced five second-half turnovers, after the Wolverines controlled time of possession for most of the game. Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Penn State and MI have won three times each. One play later, SC converted the turnover into a score as Jake Bentley connected with Bryan Edwards on a 21-yard touchdown pass. "Everyone had full confidence that we were going to come back and win".

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