Gamecocks Invited to Outback Bowl
Dec. 7, 2008
The Gamecocks (7-5, 4-4 SEC) will take on the Iowa Hawkeyes (8-4, 5-3 Big Ten) at Raymond James Stadium. Game time is set for 11 a.m. ET and the contest will be televised nationally on ESPN. It will be the first meeting ever on the gridiron between these two flagship state institutions.
The 2009 Outback Bowl will mark Carolina's 14th bowl appearance overall. The Gamecocks are 4-9 in their previous 13 bowl games. After losing each of their first eight bowl contests, the Gamecocks have won four of their last five bowl games, including a 44-36 win over Houston in the 2006 Liberty Bowl in their most recent bowl appearance.
At 7-5, the Gamecocks are bowl-eligible for the fifth straight year. It's the first time Carolina has posted a .500 or better record in five straight seasons since they had a school-record seven straight years of .500 or better records from 1928-1934. It also marks the third time they will go bowling under head coach Steve Spurrier in four seasons. The Gamecocks were bowl-eligible at 6-6 in 2007 but did not receive a bowl invitation.
The January 1st game will mark the third time the Gamecocks have appeared in the Outback Bowl. They are 2-0 in their previous Outback Bowl appearances, defeating Ohio State in back-to-back matchups following the 2000 and 2001 seasons under head coach Lou Holtz. The Gamecocks were 24-7 winners over the Buckeyes in the 2001 Outback Bowl to finish the season with an 8-4 record, then kicked a game-winning field goal as time expired to capture the 2002 Outback Bowl by a 31-28 score to finish that season with a 9-3 record.
Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier has directed his teams to a 7-7 bowl record during his career. He was 0-1 in bowl games while coaching at Duke, was 6-5 in bowl games as the head coach at Florida, including a 52-20 win over Florida State in the 1997 Sugar Bowl to capture the national championship, and is 1-1 in two bowl games while guiding the Gamecocks. He becomes the just the third coach in Carolina history, joining Jim Carlen and Joe Morrison, to take the Gamecocks to three bowl games in his career.
This is the 115th season of intercollegiate football at the University of South Carolina, dating back to 1892. It is the 102nd-consecutive year in which South Carolina has competed on the gridiron. The University did not field a team in either 1893 or 1906. Carolina owns an all-time record of 528-528-44.
Gamecock fans are encouraged to travel to Tampa with Gamecock Sports Travel. Packages including accommodations at the Gamecock Headquarters hotel, the Marriott Waterside, are available now.
To book on-line, log on to totalsportstravel.com/southcarolina or call 888-367-8781.
South Carolina Head Football Coach Steve Spurrier
"We are going to try our best to regroup with our team. We are going to try and be encouraging and positive and try to get our confidence back here between now and game time. Our players are in finals this week, we will have a practice this coming Saturday afternoon and then approximately eight or nine days to practice before Christmas and I think we round up in Tampa on the 26th. That will pretty much be our schedule. Again, we certainly feel very fortunate and are very pleased that we are going to participate in a New Year's Day bowl game at the Outback Bowl down in Tampa, Fla. Beautiful stadium down there, Raymond James (Stadium), I've never coached a game down there and I've never coached an Outback Bowl. I've been lucky to coach all those others in Florida so this will be a first for me. I'm looking forward to it and I know our team will certainly look forward to it also."
On the team's record and playing in the Outback Bowl
On the importance of playing in a bowl game
On the bowl selection process
On the Gamecock fans and the Outback Bowl selection
On the Big Ten
On the team's goal
On the coaching staff