Jake Bentley threw for 239 yards and two touchdowns Monday to help SC overcome a 16-point second-half deficit to beat MI 26-19 in the Outback Bowl. But the Big Ten can still put a feather in its cap for having - in spite of Michigan's extraordinary failure - the best bowl winning percentage of any conference.
MI went 8-4 this season, finishing a disappointing fourth in the Big Ten East. The Gamecocks used a 17-yard Rico Dowdle run to cut into the lead and followed it up by forcing a turnover on the next possession. Sophomore wide receiver Bryan Edwards had five catches for 88 yards and a touchdown.
MI attempted a game-tying drive but failed to connect on four straight passes. Given a chance to tie the score in the final four minutes, he threw incomplete on four straight passes from his 25.
The Wolverines added a field goal on their next drive, but that is all the scoring they would do for the rest of the game. Turnovers once again plagued the Wolverines. MI marched down the field on its next possession, but Gamecocks senior cornerback Jamarcus King intercepted a Brandon Peters pass in the end zone on third-and-goal with 7:53 left in the game.
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Atletico plays Lleida Esportiu in the King's Cup on Wednesday. "It's a challenge", he said. It's a great club and there are only good memories".
The second half had little in common with the first, which saw neither team manage 100 yards in total offense or a touchdown. The Wolverines turned the ball over five times, including an end zone interception that denied them an opportunity to regain the lead with just under eight minutes to go. MI hit a field goal at the end of the first half to go up 9-3 on SC.
After a rough 3-2 start, SC went 6-2 the rest of the way, with their only losses to top-five opponents Georgia and Clemson.
While Patterson started high school in Louisiana and finished at football factory IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., he is originally from Toledo, Ohio, a battleground city for MI and archrival Ohio State.
"South Carolina got better as the game went on, no doubt, and made plays to win the football game", Harbaugh said.
The win moves the Gamecocks record up to 9-4. Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Penn State and MI have won three times each. There were a number of fumbles in crucial position such as a Karan Higdon cough-up inside the SC 5-yard-line and Donovan Peoples-Jones muffed punt late in the fourth quarter. Iowa and Northwestern won back-to-back in 2009-10.