The South Carolina Gamecocks will travel to Shreveport, Louisiana to face the University of Miami Hurricanes in the 2014 Independence Bowl. The game will take place on December 27th at 3:30 pm EST and broadcast on the ABC network. Both teams enter the contest with a 6-6 record, but it is the Hurricanes who are the current three point favorite over the Gamecocks.
South Carolina began the season as the 9th ranked team in the nation. Despite an embarrassing loss to Texas A&M to begin 2014, they came back strong with a 38-35 win over Georgia. In week 3 and were sitting pretty at 3-1 with a relatively weak schedule on tap. Nonetheless, the Gamecocks would win just one of their next five games, falling to Missouri, Kentucky, Auburn, and Tennessee. It took an overtime victory over Florida and a win over lowly South Alabama to get enough wins to qualify for a bowl.
Their opponent boasts an identical record, but a slightly different path of getting there. The U lost their opening game as well, a 31-13 humiliation at the hands of Louisville, but they went on to win sox of their next eight to get to 6-3. It call came crashing down then, however, as the Hurricanes lost to Florida State, Virginia, and Pittsburgh to close out the season.
Both teams did not live up to expectations this year and the ticket market is showing a general disinterest from both the South Carolina and Miami fan bases for the Independence Bowl. According to TiqIQ, the average price for Independence Bowl tickets on the secondary market is $76. While that is one of the lowest average prices for any bowl game this season, the get-in price is actually a much more respectable $43. This is partially due to the fact that there is very limited quantity available on the secondary market.
Hotels in Shreveport start at $60 per night, according to Hipmunk.com. There’s multiple different options located near the stadium with ten hotels offering nightly rates below $100. It will be a little tougher to find cheap airline tickets as there’s no direct flights into Shreveport from South Carolina. However, Hipmunk does have connecting flights available for less than $600.
The Gamecocks may have started the year with high hopes and failed to realize that potential, but they still have an opportunity to close the season out with a winning record and a victory in one of the most storied bowl games played before New year’s Day. All they need to do is take care of the Hurricanes and Steve Spurrier will have yet another bowl win on his resume.