Start time: 2pm ET (1pm CT)
TV: ESPN (Eamon McAnaney, John Congemi, Kevin Weidl) | Live Stream: WatchESPN.com
Catch up on all of our bowl coverage at our Birmingham Bowl hub right here.
Three things to know:
—This is the Gamecocks’ first bowl appearance after a one-year absence last season. They have actually won their last four bowls: the 2012 Capital One Bowl vs. Nebraska, the 2013 Outback Bowl vs. Michigan, the 2014 Capital One Bowl vs. Wisconsin, and the 2014 Independence Bowl vs. Miami (Fla.). While it’s Carolina’s first appearance in the Birmingham Bowl, the Gamecocks are the third team Will Muschamp has led to the game, but it’s the first time he’s coached in one: he was fired in 2014 before Florida played in that year’s edition and was hired away from Auburn’s defensive coordinator post by South Carolina last year before the Tigers played in their contest.
—USF is in a bowl for the eighth time in their sixteen-year history as an FBS program. They are 4-3 all-time but lost 45-35 last year to Western Kentucky in the Miami Beach Bowl. Although Willie Taggart led them there, he won’t be coaching in it as he accepted the vacant job at Oregon. USF’s new head coach, Charlie Strong, won’t be either; co-offensive coordinator T.J. Wiest will be at the controls today.
—This is only the second time these two teams have met on the football field. The first meeting was on September 18, 2004, a 34-3 Gamecocks win. Syvelle Newton was 13-23 for 324 yards and three touchdowns, with all three TD catches made by Troy Williamson - who finished with five total catches and a then school-record 210 yards. (Pharoh Cooper broke that mark in 2014 with 233 yards in a 45-42 loss to Tennessee. For fun, here’s our recap where we called for Lorenzo Ward’s firing afterwards!)