|1984 Gator Bowl|
|Date||December 28, 1984|
|Stadium||Gator Bowl Stadium|
|MVP||RB Thurman Thomas (Oklahoma State)|
QB Mike Hold (South Carolina)
|United States TV coverage|
|Announcers||Al Michaels and Lee Grosscup|
The Cowboys (in their first season under Coach Jones) started the season with a victory over #12 Arizona State that made them rise to #13 by the following week. After a 4-0 start, they lost to #8 Nebraska, but won five of their next five to set up a pivotal game versus #2 Oklahoma. However, they lost 24-14, while finishing in 2nd place in the Big Eight Conference. This was their third bowl game of the decade. As for the Gamecocks, they had recovered from a 5-6 season the previous year to make win 10 games (which had been the most in school history before three straight 11-win seasons from 2011-2013) and qualify for their second Gator Bowl in four years.
The Cowboys got on the board first with a Thurman Thomas touchdown plunge from a yard out to take a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. Rusty Hilger would catch a pass from Thomas in the second quarter, with a Larry Roach kick falling short to make it just 13-0. In the second half, Chris Wade caught a 24 yard pass from Quinton Lewis to make it 13-7. Later the quarter, Ira Hillary caught a 57 yard pass from Mike Hold to make it 14-13. In the last quarter, Barry Hanna caught a 25 yard pass from Hilger to give the Cowboys the go-ahead lead at 21-14 (with Jamie Harris catching a pass from Hilger for the conversion) and ultimately the win. On the Cowboy side, Thomas rushed 155 yards on 32 carries, while Hilger threw 21-of-41 for 205 yards and one interception and a touchdown. On the Gamecock side, Hold threw 7-of-21 for 170 yards while Quniton Lewis rushed for 26 yards on 6 carries. The Cowboys managed to outgain the Gamecocks in yards by 78, but had 3 turnovers to the Gamecocks' 1. The Cowboys had 21 first downs, 165 rushing yards, 211 passing, and 3 penalties for 21 yards, while the Gamecocks had 15 first down, 104 rushing yards, 194 passing yards, and 5 penalties for 38 yards. 
The Cowboys made the Gator Bowl the following year, though they lost 23-34 to Florida State. They haven't returned to the Gator Bowl since 1985. As for the Gamecocks, they returned to the Gator Bowl three years later, though they would lose again, to future SEC member LSU 30-13. They did not win a bowl game until 1994.