No. 6 South Carolina will take on North Carolina in the NCAAF season opener on Thursday night, as both teams look to get their campaign off to a winning start.
Also in action on the opening night on Thursday, is No. 25 USC, who will take on Hawaii.
Date: Thursday, Aug. 29
Kickoff: 6 p.m. ET
Location: Columbia, S.C.
Stadium: Williams-Brice Stadium (80,250)
Series: North Carolina leads 34-17-4
TV: ESPN |
RADIO Flagship – 107.5 FM “The Game” & the IMG Network
THE HISTORY: 2013 marks the 120th season of intercollegiate football at the University of South Carolina, dating back to 1892. It is the 107th-consecutive year in which South Carolina has competed on the gridiron. The University did not field a team in either 1893 or 1906. Carolina owns an all-time record of 565-545-44.
THURSDAY SPECIAL: The Gamecocks are very familiar with Thursday night games on ESPN. Since head coach Steve Spurrier took over in 2005, Carolina has played 10 Thursday night ESPN contests. Carolina opened its 2005 season on a Thursday with a 24-15 win against UCF. In 2006, the Gamecocks opened at Mississippi State on a Thursday and pitched a 15-0 shutout. They also lost a mid-season Thursday night contest at home to Auburn. In 2007, they defeated eighth-ranked Kentucky on a Thursday by a 38-23 score. In 2008, they played the first two games of the season on Thursdays defeating NC State 34-0 before falling at Vanderbilt, 24-17.
In 2009 they opened the year with a Thursday night 7-3 win at NC State, then knocked off fourth-ranked Ole Miss on a Thursday at home by a 16-10 score. They opened the 2010 season with a convincing 41-13 win over Southern Miss on a Thursday in Columbia. Last season, the Gamecocks edged Vanderbilt in Nashville by a 17-13 score. Carolina is 8-2 in Thursday night tilts under Coach Spurrier, including a 5-1 record at home and a 3-1 record on the road. The Gamecocks are 6-0 in season openers on Thursdays under the Head Ball Coach.
HOT AUGUST NIGHT: The Gamecocks are opening their season in August for just the eighth time in school history. All eight August games have come in the past 30 years, with five coming since the turn of the century. The Gamecocks are 6-1 in games played in the month of August, including a 4-1 record at home and a 2-0 record on the road.
VS. UNC: This is the 56th all-time meeting between these two flagship institutions in bordering states, with the Tar Heels holding a 34-17-4 advantage, including a 14-9-1 record when the games have been played in Columbia and an 18-8-3 mark when the teams have met in Chapel Hill. UNC has also won twice on neutral fields. In a series that dates back to 1903, the Gamecocks and Tar Heels have met 55 times, the fifth most-played matchup in South Carolina history, but have played just once since 1991. The teams met every year from 1949-64 as members of the ACC.
THE LAST TIME THEY MET: Chris Smelley threw a career-high three touchdown passes in the first half and No. 7 South Carolina withstood a late rally to beat North Carolina, 21-15, on October 13, 2007. The redshirt freshman improved to 4-0 as a starter, helping South Carolina (6-1) build a 21-3 lead through three quarters. The win improved the Gamecocks record to 6-1 on the season and vaulted them to a No. 6 ranking in the national polls. That squad lost at home to Vanderbilt the following week and went on to lose its last five games to finish the season 6-6.