Michigan (9-4) faced off against South Carolina (8-5) In the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Fla. Michigan left with a 26-19 loss.
In a game that looked like a potential blowout win for the Wolverines, the Gamecocks scored 23 unanswered points that led to an SC victory.
Here’s a breakdown of what went right & wrong with each unit.
Michigan’s offense couldn’t get anything going in the first half.
Peters and the receivers didn’t seem to be on the same page and the running backs weren’t able get anything going on the ground.
Brandon Peters finished with a mediocre 19 completions on 41 passes for 178 yards, 0 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions.
Running backs Karan Higdon and Chris Evans didn’t have particularly good games either. Neither of the running backs reached over 70 yards and neither had any touchdowns.
SC’s 20 straight points were allowed in part by Michigan’s 5 turnovers. A Karan Higdon fumble on the SC 5-yard line and an interception thrown into the end zone took almost automatic points off the board for Michigan. The other two turnovers, a Donovan Peoples-Jones muffed punt and a McKeon botched handoff, were inside the Michigan 25.
Offensive Player of the Game
I know Quinn Nordin is a kicker, but with how poorly the offense played and his re-emergence, it has to be Nordin.
After a fall off in his percentage, Nordin picked it back up by going 4-of-4 with makes from 26, 35, 45, and 48.
The kicker was responsible for 16 of Michigan’s 19 points.
Outside of a few breakdowns near the end of the game that were aided by a Josh Metellus personal foul and a tight end hand off that ended in a Sean McKeon fumble, the defense was dominant.
Chase Winovich was blowing plays up, and every rusher was getting pressure on the quarterback.
Sans the 4th quarter, this defense played stellar. When the 4th quarter started, they fell apart, due in part to a bunch of turnovers.
If there is anything to take from this game and project to next year, it’s how great this defense can be.
Defensive Player of the Game
Khaleke Hudson made a huge difference in this game.
The sophomore had 10 total tackles, 1 sack, 1 TFL, and 2 PBUs with one being picked off by Noah Furbush.