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Aug. 29, 2005

Columbia, S.C. – The University of South Carolina will kickoff the 2005 college football season on Thursday at Williams-Brice Stadium. Before the game, join ESPN as they will kick-off at 7 p.m. with College Game Day Kickoff Special, an on-site special featuring a preview of the season from host Chris Fowler and analysts Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Trev Alberts and Mark May.

Country music performers Big & Rich and Cowboy Troy will perform for fans with ESPN televising three songs from the concert during the College GameDay Kickoff Special. In addition, the game will serve as the South Carolina stop for Sportscenter Across America, a 50-states-in-50-days summer tour. Rece Davis will anchor Sportscenter segments specific to South Carolina – historical notes, factoids, and vignettes about the state’s contribution to the national sports scene – on-site during the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. shows. One of the segments will include an interview with Coach Spurrier.

The College Gameday Kickoff Special, Big & Rich and Cowboy Troy concert, and Sportscenter will originate from the State Campgrounds across from South Carolina’s Williams-Brice Stadium.

Gamecock fans will also have the chance to be involved at the Gamecock Village. It is a new pre-game activity for fans at the Grandstand at the State Fairgrounds this season.

The Toyota Gamecock Village is free to the public and will feature inflatable games for kids, appearances by Olympic sports teams, a pep rally each week with the USC marching band, freshly grilled food for sale, and “register to win” and “play to win” games and sponsor booths. Former Gamecock football players will sign autographs at the Village each week as part of the Toyota Legends of the Game series.

For the game versus Central Florida on September 1st, the Village will open at 2:30 and close at 7:15. The first Legends of the Game, Ryan Brewer (99-02, Outback Bowl MVP) and Johnny Gramling (51-54, Carolina Hall of Fame), will appear from 4 – 5 pm. This week’s featured Gamecock sports team is the Carolina baseball team , who will be signing autographs from 5:45-6:45 pm. The marching band will appear at approximately 5:45 pm.

The Toyota Gamecock Village will be open six of the seven home games during the 2005 season. The Village will be closed during the Kentucky game October 8th due to the State Fair.