December 9, 2001
COLUMBIA, S.C. – For the second straight season, the University of South Carolina will be playing in a New Year’s Day bowl game, as the 14th ranked Gamecocks are heading back to Tampa, Fla., to play in the 2002 Outback Bowl at Raymond James Stadium. The opponent is Ohio State (7-4 overall) of the Big Ten Conference. Kickoff is 11 a.m. on Jan. 1 and ESPN will televise the game to a national viewing audience.
USC won the 2001 Outback Bowl with a 24-7 victory over Ohio State. Officials with the bowl are excited about the prospects of a rematch. The Buckeyes are ranked 22nd in the Associated Press poll and 23rd in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll.
“The Outback Bowl is extremely pleased to have these two great programs back for a rematch,” said Chuck Johnson, Team Selection Chairman. “We had such a great experience with both schools’ teams and fans a year ago and we’re looking forward to showing them all another great time in the Tampa Bay area.”
“We’re pleased and excited about the opportunity of returning to Tampa for the 2002 Outback Bowl,” said Mike McGee, USC athletics director. “Our team and fans had a terrific experience there last year. So many of our fans had already made plans to travel to central Florida (in the event USC was chosen to play in the Capital One/Florida Citrus Bowl) for the holidays and this will allow them to follow the Gamecocks in a another big way.”
“Our players, coaches, staff and fans had a tremendous time at the Outback Bowl last year,” said USC head coach Lou Holtz. “The people in the Tampa Bay area were outstanding hosts. Ohio State has an excellent football team that is coming off a huge victory in their regular season finale against Michigan. Coach Tressel has done an outstanding job and we know that we have a big challenge ahead of us in preparing for a very good Buckeye team. We’re excited about this opportunity.”
Gamecock Club members may order Outback Bowl tickets by calling 800-4SC-FANS or 803/777-4274. They may also FAX in their ticket applications (mailed last week) at 803/777-7971. Applications are due by Thursday, Dec. 13.
Tickets are $50 each and each Gamecock Club member is limited to purchasing 10 tickets. Silver Spur members and above are able to purchase up to four Club Level seats which are priced at $110 apiece.