Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Outback Bowl might not be a sellout, but bowl president promises to have it on TV

TAMPA — The Outback Bowl could be headed for its smallest crowd in nine years, but bowl president Jim McVay said he's pleased enough with ticket sales that he promises the game's TV broadcast won't be blacked out locally.

"We want the game shown in the Tampa Bay market. We're showing the game here, no matter what happens," he said.

About 55,000 tickets have been sold for Thursday's game between South Carolina and Iowa, more than 10,000 short of a sellout, McVay said. The game has been sold out all but two times since the January 2000 game, which drew an announced 54,059 to see Georgia beat Purdue.

McVay said that given the economy, he has been pleased with the attendance, which has met the desired threshold and helped the bowl meet its budget for the year.

"These are extraordinary times, but we're very, very happy with where we are," McVay said. "If we (sell out), that's great. If we don't, we're very pleased with our matchup."

Last year's game drew an announced 60,121 to see Tennessee beat Wisconsin.

Garcia's back: Former Jefferson QB Stephen Garcia's return to Dr. Sam Horton Stadium was far more triumphant than his exit.

More than two years after his last game at his alma mater, a 22-21 playoff loss to Armwood that reduced him to tears, Garcia returned with his South Carolina teammates Saturday for the team's first local Outback Bowl practice.

The Gamecocks initially were set to practice at USF, but coach Steve Spurrier — whose team is staying at the Westin Harbour Island Hotel on the fringe of downtown — indicated the team chose Jefferson High in part because it's a much shorter bus ride.

"It's pretty exciting being back here," said Garcia, who remains the career high school passing yardage king in Hillsborough County. "I've got my old locker and everything; it's pretty fun. … It's a perfect picture, so we've just got to go out there and win now."

Since that Armwood game, Garcia has nearly squandered his career with two arrests and an underage-drinking citation, become a father (of a 14-month-old son, Memphys), and shown just enough to Spurrier in seven games (753 passing, 173 rushing yards) to earn the Outback start.

"Hopefully when the game starts, the ability to make decisions and get the ball out of his hands, that's what we're really working on," Spurrier said. "Against Tennessee (a 27-6 win) he wanted to just take off running, so we're seeing if he can take his steps and throw the ball."

Cook out: Junior SS Emanuel Cook, a second-team All-SEC pick, is the most prominent of three Gamecocks suspended from the game. Cook, who has made it clear he's considering the NFL, is academically ineligible. Backup LB Dustin Lindsey and OL Kyle Nunn also won't play.

Odds and ends: Spurrier confirmed a published report out of South Carolina that former Gamecock TB Duce Staley, a Tampa native who spent 10 years in the NFL, could join the staff in some capacity. "It hadn't happened yet," Spurrier said, "but we'd love to have Duce associated with our team in some area of player development." … Former Gaither TB Jarvis Giles, who recently committed to South Carolina after reversing a commitment to Tennessee, attended Saturday's practice.

Spurrier quote of the day: "Well, last year we lost our last five (to finish 6-6). We only lost two in a row right now, so we're a lot better off than we were a year ago."

.Fast facts

Outback Bowl

Who: Iowa (8-4) vs. South Carolina (7-5)

When/where: 11 a.m. Thursday; Raymond James Stadium, Tampa

Tickets: $65; through

Ticketmaster outlets and www.ticketmaster.com and at (813) 287-8844.

TV: ESPN

Outback Bowl might not be a sellout, but bowl president promises to have it on TV 12/27/08 [Last modified: Saturday, December 27, 2008 7:36pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Longest home run at Trop and Erasmo Ramirez's pitching doom Rays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kevin Kiermaier returned. The problem was, so did Erasmo Ramirez.

    Seattle Mariners first baseman Yonder Alonso (10) scores on the double by Seattle Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz (23) in the first inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.
  2. Rays journal: Kevin Kiermaier returns, Mallex Smith sent to Triple A

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It didn't take CF Kevin Kiermaier long to make his presence felt during his return Friday to the Rays lineup. Kiermaier pretended to have Mariners DH Nelson Cruz's first-inning line drive lined up even as the ball went past him to his right and to the wall.

    Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) flies out in the first inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.
  3. Rays vs. Mariners, 6:10 p.m. Saturday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Mariners

    6:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    This is a 2017 photo of Jake Odorizzi of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team. This image reflects the 2017 active roster as of Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 when this image was taken. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  4. Bucs journal: Starting defense disappointed holding Jags to 1 rushing yard

    Bucs

    JACKSONVILLE — The Bucs' starting defense held the Jaguars to a total of 1 rushing yard on seven carries in the first half of Thursday's 12-8 preseason win.

    And its members were disappointed.

    Jacksonville Jaguars running back T.J. Yeldon (24) is thrown for a 1-yard loss as he is stopped by Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David (54) and defensive end Robert Ayers (91) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux) JVS102
  5. Jameis Winston's hardest lesson: He can't always save the day

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Ever wonder what in the world goes through Jameis Winston's mind when he tries to fit the ball in a keyhole as he is being dragged to the turf like he was during Thursday night's 12-8 preseason win over the Jaguars?

    Jameis Winston, left, tries to hang on to the ball as Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler tries to strip it from him.