It’s off to Florida.

South Carolina officially accepted a bid to play in the 78th Gator Bowl against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The Dec. 30 game kicks off at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville at 3:30 p.m.

The Gamecocks (8-4, 4-4 in the Southeastern Conference) finished the season ranked 19th in the final College Football Playoff rankings and 20th in the Associated Press poll.

They rescued a potential mediocre season with season-ending victories against No. 5 Tennessee, 63-38, and No. 7 Clemson, 31-30, giving them 7 wins in their last 9 games.

Last season, South Carolina defeated North Carolina, 38-21, in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl. This will be the 25th bowl game for South Carolina. They have a 10-14 record in postseason games.

This will loom as one of the tighter matchups on the bowl schedule and attendance could approach capacity (67,164), considering the strong fanbases of the two teams.

Here’s 5 takeaways about the Fighting Irish:

History between the teams

The Gamecocks and Irish have met 4 previous times on the gridiron, but have not faced each other since 1984. Notre Dame won the first 3 meetings: by 13-6 in Columbia, S.C., in 1976; by 18-17 in South Bend, Ind., in 1979; and by 30-6 in Columbia in 1983. The Gamecocks took a 36-32 win in South Bend in 1984, the most recent meeting between the teams.

Irish’s offense had revival similar to Gamecocks’ plight

Like South Carolina’s offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield, Notre Dame’s counterpart Tommy Rees was under siege for not streamlining a complex system and keeping it consistent.

But the Irish (8-4) found common ground by winning 5 in a row down the stretch – including defeats of No. 16 Syracuse and No. 4 Clemson – and averaging nearly 40 points a game before they close the season with a 38-27 loss to No. 6 Southern California. Notre Dame went 4-1 against ranked opponents.

Sophomore quarterback Drew Pyne revived the Notre Dame offense after starter Tyler Buchner went down early in the season with an injury. When it appeared Notre Dame’s season was in the dumpster, Pyne led the Irish to an 8-2 mark in the next 10 games. However, this will be Pyne’s last game with the school; he announced that he will enter the transfer portal.

Pyne will enter the game with 162 completions out of 254 attempts for 2,021 yards with 22 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. He has been sacked 15 times.

Air game

Tight end Michael Mayer has been Pyne’s prime target with 67 catches for 809 yards and 11 touchdowns, with an average of 12.1 yards a catch. In his last 8 games Mayer had 45 catches for 575 yards with 6 touchdowns.

Lorenzo Styles (30 catches, 340 yards, 1 TD, 11.3-yard average) and Jayden Thomas (20, 295, 3, 14.8) have been reliable downfield targets.

On the run

After a relatively slow start, sophomore Audric Estimé emerged as the lead back for the Irish.

In the last nine games of the regular season, Estimé rushed for 695 yards and scored 11 touchdowns, surpassing the 100-yard mark 3 times. He had 134 yards with 2 touchdowns against North Carolina and 123 with 2 scores against Syracuse.

Similarly, fellow sophomore Logan Diggs made his mark as the season progressed. In his last nine games Diggs gained 666 of his 723 yards. Diggs had 100-yard games against Boston College (122), Clemson (114) and UNLV (130).

As a team, the Fighting Irish rushed for 2,193 yards.

Stingy defense

The Notre Dame defense can pose a problem for South Carolina quarterback Spencer Rattler and his recent high-flying offense.

Notre Dame has allowed 21.8 points a game, an average of 136.2 yards on the ground and 190 yards through the air.

Edge rusher Isaiah Foskey has been a backfield disrupter with 11 sacks. Linebacker J.D. Bertrand has a team-high 74 tackles with 2 sacks. Ball-hawking corner Benjamin Morrison has 5 of the team’s 9 interceptions.