After your New Year’s celebration, get up and ready for some college football in Tampa. In a rematch of the epic 2013 bowl game, the University of Michigan Wolverines will take on the South Carolina Gamecocks in the 2018 Outback Bowl, New Year’s Day at Raymond James Stadium. It’s the first college football game of 2018, kicking off at noon on ESPN2.

2018 Outback Bowl: Michigan Wolverines vs. South Carolina Gamecocks, New Year’s Day

Michigan (8-4, 5-4 Big Ten) is led by head coach and former NFL quarterback Jim Harbaugh. The Wolverines have ten players from the state of Florida, including starting left tackle and East Lake High School alum Mason Cole, who has made 50 consecutive starts in his career in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines finished the regular season with tough losses to Big Ten Championship participants Wisconsin and Ohio State.

South Carolina (8-4, 5-3 SEC) is led by former University of Florida head coach Will Muschamp. The Gamecocks have 13 players from Florida, but none from the Tampa Bay area. Last year South Carolina reached the Birmingham Bowl, where USF Football defeated them 46-39 in overtime. This season the Gamecocks lost their regular-season finale 34-10 to top-ranked, in-state rival Clemson. Afterwards Muschamp fired co-offensive coordinator and quarterback coach Kurt Roper. It was an odd time to make a move with a game still to be played.

Neither the Gamecocks or Wolverines are strangers to the Tampa bowl game. This is Michigan's sixth appearance all time in the Outback Bowl, more than any other team. This is South Carolina's fifth time in the Outback game, tied for second-most.

The 2013 Outback Bowl game between these two teams produced one of the most vicious hits in college football history. One play after the referees denied South Carolina a fourth-down stop on a Wolverines fake punt, Gamecocks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney clobbered Michigan running back Vincent Smith in the backfield, forcing a fumble and sending Smith’s helmet flying five yards in the air.

The bone-crunching hit was regarded as the turning point in the game. South Carolina, trailing 22-21 at the time, recovered the fumble and went on to beat Michigan 33-28.

What better way to ring in 2018 than with some college football? Grab some coffee and breakfast, then head to Raymond James Stadium and see two veteran Outback Bowl teams face off again. Come for the bowl game, and stay for everyone’s favorite appetizer battle, the race between the Bloomin' Onion and Coconut Shrimp. 

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