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Gamecocks Open 2023 Football Season Saturday in Charlotte
Football  . 

Gamecocks Open 2023 Football Season Saturday in Charlotte

Duke's Mayo Classic

South Carolina Gamecocks
South Carolina Gamecocks
#20/21 North Carolina Tar Heels
#20/21 North Carolina Tar Heels
Bank of America Stadium - Charlotte, N.C.

The South Carolina Gamecocks begin the third year of the Shane Beamer Era in non-conference fashion when they travel to Bank of America Stadium (74,867) in Charlotte, N.C., to face the No. 21/20 North Carolina Tar Heels out of the Atlantic Coast Conference in the Duke’s Mayo Classic on Saturday, Sept. 2. The game is set for a 7:44 pm ET kick.

The 2023 season opener will be televised nationally on ABC. Sean McDonough will describe the action with Greg McElroy providing the color commentary. Molly McGrath will work the sidelines for broadcast. The game will also be carried nationally on CFB Saturday Night radio with Chris Hassel and Mike Golic Jr. calling the action. The Gamecock Sports Radio Network features a pair of Gamecock Great quarterbacks in Todd Ellis (32nd season) and Tommy Suggs (51st season) in the booth. Chet Tucker takes over the sideline duties in 2023.

ESPN’s College GameDay Built by The Home Depot will kick off the 2023 college football season on Saturday, Sept. 2, in Charlotte, N.C., before the South Carolina Gamecocks face the North Carolina Tar Heels in the Duke’s Mayo Classic. The three-hour show (9 a.m. ET) will be live from Romare Bearden Park in uptown Charlotte to kick off GameDay’s 37th season and 30th year of road shows. This will be College GameDay’s 440th road show all-time – and the first-ever visit to a South Carolina-North Carolina game. The Gamecocks last GameDay appearance was 2014, while the Tar Heels last appeared in 2010. This is the third trip to uptown Charlotte for College GameDay in recent years. The show also originated from Romare Bearden Park before the 2017 ACC Championship Game and the 2021 Duke’s Mayo Classic when Georgia faced Clemson in a Week 1 top-five showdown.

2023 marks the 130th season of intercollegiate football at the University of South Carolina, dating back to 1892. It is the 117th-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 629-606-44, a .509 winning percentage. Since the start of the 21st century, the Gamecocks have posted a 163-124 record, a .568 winning clip.

The Gamecocks have compiled an 86-39-4 record in season openers, a .682 winning percentage, through 129 years of intercollegiate football. The Gamecocks are 20-3 in openers in the 21st century. South Carolina opened the 2011, 2015, 2017 and 2019 seasons in Charlotte, posting a 3-1 record.

South Carolina opens the 2023 campaign just outside the top 25 in both major polls entering the season ranked 27th in both the Associated Press and Coaches’ polls. The Gamecocks finished the 2022 campaign ranked No. 23 after knocking off No. 5 Tennessee and No. 7 Clemson in their final two regular season games. North Carolina, which dropped its final four games of the 2022 season to finish the year unranked, opens the 2023 season ranked 21st in the AP poll and No. 20 in the Coaches’ poll.

BATTLE OF THE CAROLINAS: The two flagship universities of the Carolinas – the South Carolina Gamecocks and the North Carolina Tar Heels – renew its rivalry on Saturday, Sept. 2, in the Duke’s Mayo Classic. This will mark the 60th meeting on the gridiron between these two bordering schools. North Carolina holds a 35-20-4 advantage in the all-time series, including a 3-2 mark when the game has been played at a neutral site. However, South Carolina has won four of the last five contests and seven of the last nine overall.

BEAMER VERSUS THE HEELS: South Carolina head coach Shane Beamer is 1-0 against the Tar Heels, winning by a 38-21 count in the 2021 Duke’s Mayo Bowl in Charlotte. In just two seasons, Coach Beamer has recorded wins over national championship coaches Mack Brown, Jimbo Fisher and Dabo Swinney.

MACK ATTACKS THE GAMECOCKS: North Carolina head coach Mack Brown is 2-4 against the Gamecocks, with the first four games coming during his first stint in Chapel Hill. The Gamecocks defeated the Tar Heels by scores of 31-10, 27-20 and 27-5 from 1988-90, before Brown and the Tar Heels tallied a 21-17 win during the 1991 season. Brown led UNC to a 24-20 win over Will Muschamp’s Gamecocks to kick off the 2019 season in Charlotte, but Shane Beamer and South Carolina got the better of it the last time the two teams met, a 38-21 decision in the 2021 Duke’s Mayo Bowl in Charlotte.

BEEN HERE, DONE THAT: The two Carolinas are opening its season in Charlotte for the third time in the last nine seasons. South Carolina posted a 17-13 win to open the 2015 season, while the Tar Heels gained some revenge with a 24-20 come-from-behind win to open the 2019 campaign. The teams also met at Bank of America Stadium in the 2021 Duke’s Mayo Bowl, a 38-21 Gamecock win.

MAYO BATH: South Carolina dominated the Tar Heels by a 38-21 margin in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl on Dec. 30, 2021, the last time these two schools met on the gridiron. Dakereon Joyner, making his first start at quarterback all season, earned MVP honors after completing all nine of his passes for 160 yards and rushing 10 times for 64 yards. Kevin Harris rushed 31 times for 182 yards and a score. Tight end Jaheim Bell caught five passes for 159 yards, including touchdown catches of 69- and 66-yards on the Gamecocks’ first two possessions. The Gamecocks rolled up a season-high and bowl-record 543 yards in the contest.

CAROLINA ON MY MIND: The Gamecocks have seven players on the current roster who played their high school ball in the state of North Carolina. The list includes Jaylen Nichols (Charlotte), Mohamed Kaba (Clinton), Terrell Dawkins (Concord), D’Andre Martin (Durham), Nick Barrett (Goldsboro), Jaxon Hughes (Greensboro) and Mitch Jeter (Salisbury).

THERE’S A CONNECTION: North Carolina run game coordinator and tight ends coach Freddie Kitchens was on the Shane Beamer’s staff last season as an offensive analyst. Sparky Woods, a Senior Advisor to North Carolina head coach Mack Brown, was the Gamecocks’ head coach from 1989-93.

IT JUST MEANS MORE: The Gamecocks are 40-13 in their last 53 non-conference games, a .755 winning percentage, with seven of the 13 losses in that stretch coming against Clemson. The Gamecocks went 4-1 against non-conference foes in 2022, posting wins over Georgia State, Charlotte, South Carolina State and Clemson and losing to Notre Dame in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl. The Gamecocks have Furman (Sept. 9), Jacksonville State (Nov. 4) and Clemson (Nov. 25) as their remaining regular-season non-conference games in 2023. All three of those contests will be played at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia.

WHEN WILL I SEE YOU AGAIN? The Gamecocks and Tar Heels have a home-and-home series booked for later in the decade, with the Tar Heels coming to Columbia in 2028, then the Gamecocks making the return trip to Chapel Hill in 2029.