When: Monday January 1st, 12:00, ESPN2
Current spread: Michigan -7.5, O/U 42.5
All-time series: South Carolina 2-1
This is probably the least anticipated New Year’s Day bowl game. Michigan disappointed this season while the Gamecocks were middle of the pack SEC. But at least on the Michigan side, there is drama and rumors surrounding the program. Maybe some will be answered contingent on the outcome.
Brandon Peters (486-4-0) is the latest member of the QB carousel in Ann Arbor. He shows promise, but with Shea Patterson on campus now, we’ll see if he can raise his game. WR Grant Perry (25-307-1) is their leading receiver. After that, the tight ends get the love. Sean McKeon (29-285-3) and Zach Gentry (15-276-2) will get quite a bit of attention. The Wolverines feature a 3-headed rushing attack. Karan Higdon (929-11), Chris Evans (661-6), and Ty Isaac (548-2) all saw some minutes this year. The Gamecocks defense will be focused on Higdon primarily.
South Carolina will have Jake Bentley (2,555-16-11) taking the snaps. Bentley is dangerous outside the pocket too, as he also rushed for 6 TDs. So Michigan’s defense will have to contain him. WR Bryan Edwards (59-705-4) and TE Hayden Hurst (41-518-2) are his main targets. The running game is in the hands of AJ Turner 517-3). They’ll need to utilize all of their weapons to succeed against one of the nation’s top defenses.
A lot of questions and a little mystery surround this game. Will Peters step up? Can Michigan’s defense avoid giving up the big play? Can the Gamecocks sustain a balanced attack? I like SC getting the points, I like the under. But who knows with the way we’ve seen the bowls pan out this year. Enjoy the game.