South Carolina football to the Gator Bowl to face Notre Dame

South Carolina is headed to the Sunshine State for its bowl destination.

No. 19 USC will take on No. 21 Notre Dame in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl at 3:30 pm Friday, Dec. 30 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Florida, the school confirmed Sunday afternoon.

Both teams are 8-4 on the season. The game will be televised on ESPN.

South Carolina hasn’t been in the Gator Bowl since 1987, but has played in the game on four different occasions. The Gamecocks played their first ever bowl game in Jacksonville in 1946 and appeared in the contest again in 1980 and 1984. USC is 0-4 in its Gator Bowl appearances.

“What an opportunity for our players to play a team like Notre Dame,” head coach Shane Beamer told reporters Sunday. “A fantastic opportunity. I know our fans are excited, as they should be, playing the Gator Bowl for the first time since 1987. I know our fan base is excited about a new venue, a new location to be playing in, a new bowl game.”

A source with knowledge of the selection process told The State last week the Gator Bowl was extremely interested in the Gamecocks, noting they hadn’t played in the game in decades and the school’s proximity to Jacksonville.

“It’s good to be wanted,” Beamer said. “There are a lot of bowl games that wanted the South Carolina Gamecocks. There’s something to say for that.”

It will be the fifth all-time meeting between South Carolina and Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish have won three of the teams’ four meetings. The Gamecocks won the last time out, a 36-32 victory during the program’s historic 1984 season.

USC has exams this week. Beamer expects on-campus bowl practices to begin Dec. 15th.

South Carolina appeared in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl in 2021, downing North Carolina 38-21 and finishing the season 7-6.

Beamer became just the second head coach in school history to win a bowl game in his first season at the helm in Columbia. If he were to win this year’s game, he’d be the first South Carolina coach to win bowl games in his first two years on the job.

South Carolina capped its regular season with wins over No. 8 Clemson and No. 5 Tennessee on its way to its 8-4 mark. The victories over the Tigers and Volunteers marked the first time the Gamecocks had ever beaten top 10 opponents in back-to-back weeks.

USC last won bowl games in consecutive years when it won four straight between 2011 to 2014.

Notre Dame started the year 0-2 and ended the season with a 38-27 road loss at Southern Cal, but they played well in between — including a 35-14 home win over Clemson that was the Tigers’ first defeat of the year.

Gamecock bowl history

Bowls listed by season

  • 2021 — Duke’s Mayo Bowl (W, 38-21 vs. UNC)
  • 2018 — Belk Bowl (L, 28-0 vs. Virginia)
  • 2017 — Outback Bowl (W, 26-19 vs. Michigan)
  • 2016 — Birmingham Bowl (L, 46-39/OT vs. South Florida)
  • 2014 — Independence Bowl (W, 24-21 vs. Miami)
  • 2013 — Capital One Bowl (W, 34-24 vs. Wisconsin)
  • 2012 — Outback Bowl (W, 33-28 vs. Michigan)
  • 2011 — Capital One Bowl (W, 30-13 vs. Nebraska)
  • 2010 — Chick-fil-A Bowl (L, 26-17 vs. Florida State)
  • 2009 — Papajohns.com Bowl (L, 20-7 vs. UConn)
  • 2008 — Outback Bowl (L, 31-10 vs. Iowa)
  • 2006 — Liberty Bowl (W, 44-36 vs. Houston)
  • 2005 — Independence Bowl (L, 38-31 vs. Missouri)
  • 2001 — Outback Bowl (W, 31-28 vs. Ohio State)
  • 2000 — Outback Bowl (W, 24-7 vs. Ohio State)
  • 1994 — Carquest Bowl (W, 24-21 vs. West Virginia)
  • 1988 — Liberty Bowl (L, 34-10 vs. Indiana)
  • 1987 — Gator Bowl (L, 30-13 vs. LSU)
  • 1984 — Gator Bowl (L, 21-14 vs. Oklahoma State)
  • 1980 — Gator Bowl (L, 37-9 vs. Pitt)
  • 1979 — Hall of Fame Bowl (L, 24-14 vs. Missouri)
  • 1975 — Tangerine Bowl (L, 20-7 vs. Miami of Ohio)
  • 1969 — Peach Bowl (L, 14-3 vs. West Virginia)
  • [1945—GatorBowl(L26-14vsWakeForest)

SEC bowl games for 2022 season

  • Capital One Orange Bowl (Miami) – Tennessee vs. Clemson – Dec. 8-30 p.m./ESPN
  • Allstate Sugar Bowl (New Orleans) – Alabama vs. Kansas State – Dec. 31 – Noon/ESPN
  • Chick-fil-A Bowl (Atlanta) Georgia vs. Ohio State – Dec. 31-8 p.m./ESPN
  • SRS Distribution Las Vegas Bowl (Las Vegas) – Florida vs. Pac-12 – Dec. 17 — 7:30 p.m. ET / ESPN
  • Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl (Tampa) – Missouri vs. ACC-Dec. 23 – 6:30 p.m. ET / ESPN
  • AutoZone Liberty Bowl (Memphis) – Arkansas vs. Big 12 – Dec. 28 — 5:30 p.m. ET / ESPN
  • TaxAct Texas Bowl (Houston) – Ole Miss vs. Big 12 – Dec. 9–28 p.m. ET / ESPN
  • TaxSlayer Gator Bowl (Jacksonville) South Carolina vs. ACC/ND – Dec. 30-3:30 p.m. ET / ESPN
  • TransPerfect Music City Bowl (Nashville) – Kentucky vs. Big Ten – Dec. 31 – Noon ET / ABC
  • Reliaquest Bowl (Tampa) – Mississippi State vs. Big Ten – Jan. 2 – Noon ET / ESPN2
  • Cheez-It Citrus Bowl (Orlando) LSU vs. Purdue-Jan. 2 – 1 p.m. ET / ABC

This story was originally published December 4, 2022 3:51 PM.

Ben Portnoy is the State’s South Carolina Gamecocks football beat writer. He’s a five-time Associated Press Sports Editors award honoree and has earned recognition from the Mississippi Press Association and the National Sports Media Association. Portnoy previously covered Mississippi State for the Columbus Commercial Dispatch and Indiana football for the Journal Gazette in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.

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