Outback Bowl fans get beautiful day, thrilling finish - FOX 13 News

Outback Bowl fans get beautiful day, thrilling finish

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

This New Year's day in Tampa, you didn't have to look far to find a proud University of South Carolina Gamecock and a confident University of Michigan Wolverine. 

The two teams squared off in the Outback Bowl Tuesday afternoon.  A sea of fans in maize and blue and garnet and black tailgated outside of Raymond James Stadium.

"We're going to rock 'em.  We're going to sock 'em.  And we're going to gamecock 'em!"  one Gamecock told FOX 13.

Michigan fan Gary Darling dressed head to toe in maize and blue for the game.

"Michigan is just going to pound them into the ground," said Darling.

This year's Outback Bowl was a true conference showdown: Big Ten vs. SEC.

"I'm confident in our abilities," said Gamecock David Nasrollahi.  "Our defense is good.  I like the backup quarter back.  He's been playing well so."

And he was given a New Year's gift – a South Carolina victory. The Gamecocks defeated the Wolverines in a thrilling finish, 33-28.

Tampa holds the bowl game every year.  Fans say they'll keep coming back.

"They do the fans right: The parade, everything is just real set up fan friendly," said South Carolina fan Lynne Riddick.  "It's great."

They had their big tents, food sizzling on the grill, drinks, games and real excitement for Tampa's big bowl game.

"I've actually been to more Michigan games since I've been in Florida than when I lived in Michigan," said Wolverine Sean Huber, who lives in Sarasota.

Tampa's brief cold snap cleared to blue skies and sunshine just in time.

"The beach was wonderful.  It was beautiful down there.  Clearwater is just a fabulous place and so is Tampa," Sherry Lybrant, a South Carolina fan, said.

The Outback Bowl brought more than 54,000 college football fans to Raymond James Stadium.

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