South Carolina announced Thursday that it won’t open the 2015 football season by traveling to East Carolina, but rather, with a more interesting non-conference game – against North Carolina in Charlotte, at the Carolina Panthers’ stadium.
The game will be Sept. 5, a Saturday, which was the day USC was supposed to play at ECU. Other details for Gamecocks-Tar Heels (TV, ticket sales information, kickoff time) will be announced later, but USC said Thursday that each school would get 12,500 tickets.
USC is 17-34-4 all-time against North Carolina. They met every year from 1949-70. Both schools were original members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, which began in 1953. USC left the league after the 1970 season. Since then, it has played North Carolina 11 times – 1974, 1977-79, 1981, 1983, 1988-91 and 2007 – and is 6-5 in those games.
USC won in 2007 in Chapel Hill and has won five of the past seven meetings. The teams will open the 2013 season against each other in Columbia – the Tar Heels’ first trip to USC since 1990, when the Gamecocks beat them. The 2013 opener will be on a Thursday night, Aug. 29.
With the East Carolina game bumped off the 2015 schedule, the Pirates will have to wait for their home game against USC. In 2011, the teams opened against each other in Charlotte. In 2012, East Carolina traveled to USC. The Gamecocks won both meetings. Before that, USC and East Carolina hadn’t played since 1999. USC last traveled to East Carolina in 1997. They are scheduled to open 2014 against each other in Charlotte, and to play in 2016 in Columbia.
Thursday’s announcement also means that USC’s season openers in 2011, 2014 and 2015 will be in the Panthers’ stadium, which has become a destination in recent years for non-conference regular season college football games, and is the host of the ACC championship game.
Here’s a look at USC’s upcoming non-conference schedules …
Aug. 29 (Thursday), North Carolina
Sept. 28, at Central Florida
Nov. 23, Coastal Carolina
Nov. 30, Clemson
Aug. 30, East Carolina (in Charlotte)
Oct. 18, Furman
Nov. 22, Troy
Nov. 29, at Clemson
Sept. 5, North Carolina (in Charlotte)
Sept. 26, Central Florida
Nov. 21, The Citadel
Nov. 28, Clemson
TBD, East Carolina
Nov. 26, at Clemson