The Gamecocks make their third straight bowl game appearance. They beat Michigan 26-19 in the Outback Bowl last season. The Cavaliers look to avenge last year’s 49-7 loss to Navy in the Military Bowl.
South Carolina QB Jake Bentley is closing in on 3,000 yards passing — with 510 of those coming against No. 2 Clemson. He threw for 27 TDs this season with 12 interceptions. He faces a Virginia defense that ranks 14th in the nation against the pass and is allowing less than 22 points per game.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
South Carolina: WR Bryan Edwards. With WR Deebo Samuel sitting out the bowl game to prepare for the NFL draft, the Gamecocks are expected to lean on Edwards. He had three 100-yard receiving games and is second on the team with 52 receptions for 809 yards and seven TDs.
Virginia: QB Bryce Perkins. The Arizona Western Community College transfer has been a pleasant surprise, setting a school record for total offense with 3,314 yards. He threw for 2,472 yards with 22 touchdowns and ran for 842 yards and nine scores.
Teams were once in same conference in Atlantic Coast Conference, but haven’t played since 2003 …. Gamecocks eclipsed 500 yards of offense in five games this season. … South Carolina QB Jake Bentley has 16 TDs passing and four interceptions in last five games. … Bentley has nine completions of 50-plus yards in last six games. … RB Jordan Ellis led Gamecocks in rushing with 931 yards with nine TDs. … Gamecocks offensive line allowed 20 sacks in 2018, fewest since 2003. … South Carolina has only six interceptions, three by CB Rashad Fenton. …… Virginia played in first two Belk Bowls (2002 and 2003) and won both. … Virginia QB Bryce Perkins’ brother Paul Perkins plays RB for NFL’s New York Giants. … RB Jordan Ellis needs 80 yards rushing to become 15th Virginia player to reach 1,000 yards in a season. … HB Olamide Zaccheaus needs five receptions to break own single-season school record of 85. … Virginia DE Bryce Hall leads the nation with 20 pass breakups.
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