South Carolina vs. UAB: 5 things to know about Gamecocks' Gasparilla Bowl berth
In a season that has had plenty of forgettable moments, South Carolina will get another chance to create a memorable one with a matchup against UAB in the Gasparilla Bowl, noon Saturday in Tampa, Fla.
The Gamecocks will have a chance to snap their 6-game losing streak and reach win No. 3 on the season, alongside wins over Auburn and Vanderbilt.
The game will be played at Raymond James Stadium and will air on ABC for the first time in the bowl’s 13-year history.
This will be the 4th all-time meeting between UAB and South Carolina and the 1st since 2012. The Gamecocks lead the overall series 3-0. Here are 5 things to know about the game:
1. What kind of team is UAB?
The Blazers, who won Conference USA, are making their 5th bowl appearance. UAB is 1-3 in bowl games and lost 31-17 to Appalachian State in last season’s New Orleans Bowl.
UAB beat Marshall 22-13 on Friday to improve to 6-3 and win their 2nd league title in the past 3 years. They have won both of their championships on the road, the only team in league history to do so.
2. Who is their star?
The Blazers are led by running back Spencer Brown, who has 186 carries and 889 yards with 10 TDs. Brown became the 1st player in C-USA history to be named the Conference USA Championship Game MVP twice after he had 30 carries for 149 yards, the school reported. He is also just the 2nd player in league history to rush for more than 100 yards in 2 C-USA title games.
In the process, Brown eclipsed 4,000 career rushing yards. He is 1 of just 2 active players in the nation to have 4,000 career rushing yards, along with Travis Etienne of Clemson.
3. Program history
UAB is appearing in their 4th straight bowl game since returning to action in 2017.
The Blazers are 3-time defending C-USA West Division champions. Since 2017, UAB has the most wins of any team in the conference with 34. The program was terminated after the 2014 season, but after the announcement, the UAB Football Foundation pledged to raise $13 million to $20 million, and the program was soon reinstated. Tennessee was the only SEC team scheduled to play UAB in 2015, and the Vols replaced the Blazers with Bowling Green.
4. Gamecocks’ coaching situation
Mike Bobo will stay in his role as interim head coach. New head coach Shane Beamer will not participate in the bowl game. Beamer will be on the sideline observing the team’s limited bowl practices, the Post and Courier reported. Defensive coaches like coordinator Travaris Robinson and special teams coordinator Kyle Krantz, who won’t be on Beamer’s staff, will also coach the bowl game. Offensive line coach Eric Wolford, who has accepted a position at Kentucky, will not coach. The State reported that analyst Landon Martin is a likely candidate to coach the OL if Wolford is fully out.
5. A familiar site
Tampa is a familiar spot for the Gamecocks. The Gasparilla will be the 6th bowl game there for the Garnet and Black, all since 2001. The Gamecocks are 4-1 in the previous 5, all Outback Bowls. Overall, it’s the 24th bowl appearance in program history and the 1st since the 2018 Belk Bowl, a 28-0 drubbing by Virginia in Charlotte, N.C.
The Gamecocks are 9-14 in bowls but 9-6 since they won their 1st, the 1995 CarQuest Bowl.