TAMPA, FLA. (WACH) - Last second heroics by Bruce Ellington and Dylan Thompson propelled South Carolina past Michigan in the Outback Bowl, 33-28.
South Carolina trailed late into the fourth quarter until Bruce Ellington caught a 32 yard pass from quarterback Dylan Thompson with 11 seconds to go in the game.
"(The quarterbacks)told me just to be patient," said Ellington. "Ace (Sanders) told me to be patient and the ball will come to me and the ball came to me, and I caught it."
The victory gives South Carolina back-to-back 11-win seasons for the first time in school history.
"Our seniors ,(I) can't say enough about those guys." said head coach Steve Spurrier, who scored his first-ever Outback Bowl win.
Ellington scored the winning touchdown, but his fellow wide receiver Ace Sanders won Player of the Game honors for hauling in three touchdowns.
"It's a real good feeling. I just want to thank God for the opportunity to showcase my talent," said Sanders.
Quarterbacks Connor Shaw and Dylan Thompson both earned game balls. The two combined for 341 yards and four touchdowns passing. Shaw ran for 96 yards including a 64-yard scamper to set up a touchdown before injuring his foot in the fourth quarter.
The fan favorite of the afternoon came in the fourth quarter. One play after Michigan converted a controversial first down that was clearly short after an official measurement, junior defensive end Jadeveon Clowney burst through Michigan's offensive line and blasted runningback Vincent Smith with a bruising hit, knocking off Smith's helmet and causing a fumble. Clowney recovered the ball.
The hit was replayed all afternoon by various media outlets.
An on-line video of the play had hundreds of views by the time the game ended.
"I didn't see the play. I heard it," said Ellington.
Ace Sanders described it as "a car crash."
After the game, Steve Spurrier put to rest any concerns about his future at South Carolina when a reporter asked him he would leaving for a coaching job in the NFL.
"Nope. Already been there," said Spurrier.