The Miami Hurricanes and the South Carolina Gamecocks are the two protagonists in the 2014 Independence Bowl.
It will be the Miami Hurricanes against the South Carolina Gamecocks in the 2014 Independence Bowl.
According to a press release on the Independence Bowl's official website, it will be the first time the Hurricanes will compete in the bowl game's history. This is the fifth straight year at least one participating team will play in the Independence Bowl for the very first time. Miami will be spearheaded by first-team All-ACC running back Duke Johnson, who has run for 1,520 yards and 10 touchdowns during the 2014 NCAA season.
Backing up Johnson will be Hurricanes freshman quarterback and ACC Rookie of the Year Brad Kayaa, who has passed for 2,962 yards and 25 touchdowns this season. On the defensive end, Miami has first-team All-ACC linebacker Denzel Perryman, who has amassed 102 tackles, 8.5 sacks for loss, 2.0 sacks, three forced fumbles, one interception and four deflected passes, per IndependenceBowl.org.
On the other hand, the Gamecocks boast of senior quarterback Dylan Thompson, whose 3,280 passing yards and 24 touchdowns are a school single-season record. South Carolina wide receiver Pharoh Cooper, who has caught for 966 yards and eight touchdowns so far, set a single-game school record by registering 233 yards against the Tennessee Volunteers earlier this season, according to the Independence Bowl's official website.
If the Hurricanse have Perryman, the Gamecocks have linebacker Skai Moore. The latter has 82 tackles and three interceptions on the season.
South Carolina makes its second Independence Bowl appearance in nine years. The Missouri Tigers edged the Gamecocks, 38-31, in 2005. IndependenceBowl.org notes Miami holds an 8-5-2 edge over South Carolina in their 15 all-time games.
According to a press release on the Hurricanes' official athletics website, the 2014 Independence Bowl will be Miami's 38th bowl game in school history. The Hurricanes currently have a 19-18 record in their previous bowl games. This will be head football coach Al Golden's second Independence Bowl.
Golden told Miami's official athletics website, he and his Hurricaens are excited at the opportunity. He said,"We are thrilled for the opportunity to compete against a program with the tradition and talent of South Carolina. The 2014 Independence Bowl not only provides our program with a great matchup, but it also gives us a tremendous opportunity to improve, gain valuable practice time and postseason experience."
The Gamecocks are bowl-eligible for the 11th consecutive season, per their official athletics website. This has also been the case in each of head football coach Steve Spurrier's 10-year coaching tenure. South Carolina builds on its school record for consecutive bowl game appearances. The Independence Bowl game against Miami will be its seventh straight.
South Carolina has a 7-12 record in all-time bowl appearances, with a 4-4 record under Spurrier, according to GamecocksOnline.com.
The Duck Commander Independence Bowl will be at 3:30 p.m. ET on Dec. 27 at Shreveport, La.'s Independence Stadium.
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