Steve Spurrier and Brady Hoke met the media for the final time on Monday morning. The South Carolina Gamecocks are the visiting team at Raymond James Stadium when they take on the Michigan Wolverines on New Year's Day at 1pm. The game will be televised by ESPN. WPDE Sports Director Rich Chrampanis recaps the key points from the final news conference.
Nothing more than a little clarity from both coaches. Michigan will start Devan Gardner, with Denard Robinson slated to play quarterback as well as a variety of other positions including wide receiver, running back and returner. Brady Hoke joked that he will not punt or kickoff. Meanwhile, Steve Spurrier wanted to make it clear that Connor Shaw will get the start and go most of the way and Dylan Thompson will see some action. On Saturday, the words that Spurrier used opened the door to a possible rotating quarterback system, but the Gamecocks head man made it clear that barring injury, it will be Shaw's game.
A Minor Injury
Spurrier said that in the final practice on Sunday, wide receiver Damiere Byrd got crossed up with former Darlington Falcon Victor Hampton diving for a ball on a drill. Hampton had his thigh iced, but the cornerback is expected to be ready to go for the Outback Bowl.
Praise for a Local Player
Spurrier admitted that he doesn't use too much of the bowl practice in December to give youngsters extra reps, saying that spring ball is the best time to showcase future talent on the depth chart. He did mention that in Monday non-contact scrimmages he was impressed with Dillon's Kwinton Smith, who should be a part of the wide receiver mix in 2013. Smith is redshirting this year and will bring some much needed size to the receiving corps. On Saturday, Spurrier talked about the Gamecocks not throwing any fades this year with his short receivers headlined by Ace Sanders and Bruce Ellington. Smith brings a big frame and along with Shaq Roland should be able to keep the Gamecocks recent string of successful wideouts going.
Gametime temperature is set to be 74 degrees, nearly 50 degrees warmer than the forecast in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Spurrier admits that his team likes to play in warm weather much more than the cold.
Free Bloomin' Onions?
The Gamecocks are team Bloomin' Onion, the Maize and Blue are Team Coconut Shrimp. On January 2nd, the day after the game, the nation will get a free Bloomin' Onion at Outback Steakhouse if the Gamecocks win, while a Michigan victory gives the country free Coconut Shrimp.
We'll have extended post-game reaction from the Outback Bowl here on CarolinaLive.com after the game and a full recap on NewsChannel 15 on Tuesday.