Home Openers- A Carolina Special

It has finally arrived, and the Gamecocks are only two days out of their opening game against the Texas A&M Aggies. In the 92 seasons that the Gamecocks have opened at home, they own a 70-18-4 record, a winning percentage of .783. This will be the first meeting between the two schools, and South Carolina is hoping to turn that ‘70’ into ‘71’ on Thursday night.

Ironically, head coach Steve Spurrier’s only season-opening loss was to the Gamecocks in Columbia on September 2, 1989, while he was head coach at Duke University.

Now in his 10th season with South Carolina, he stands 9-0 in season openers.

With South Carolina putting their record-breaking 18-game home winning streak on the line, the Old Ball Coach is looking for his 200th win as an SEC Coach.

The garnet-and-black have won 14-straight season openers, dating back to a 10-0 loss at NC State to kick-off the 1999 season tying Texas for the fifth longest season-opening winning streak in the country, just below Southern Cal’s 16.

At the press conference on Sunday, the head coach noted on the opening games record.

“I don’t know if there is a common link. I don’t know what it is,” noted head coach Steve Spurrier.

“We have been fortunate in the openers; haven’t always played extremely well, but the other team hadn’t played extremely well either.”

In 2011, South Carolina took it’s biggest opening victory against East Carolina 56-37, just above the 56-17 points in the Citadel opener of 1985.

Texas A&M has a quite a streak of its own. The Aggies are 10-2 in games on the road under head coach Kevin Sumlin. However, the Texas-based team will be looking for a victory in the conference opener.

A&M hasn’t won a conference opener in any conference since taking a 34-10 win over Baylor in 2007.

The Thursday night game introduces the competition between the two teams, being the first meeting ever. It will also pose as the first Thursday night game of the Kevin Sumlin-era for Texas A&M.

Thursday’s for the Gamecocks have become quite the tradition under head coach Spurrier. South Carolina has taken on 11 Thursday night games, with a record of 9-2. In 2005, the Gamecocks’ kicked-off the season on a Thursday with a 24-15 win against UCF.

On a side note, starting quarterback this year and senior Dylan Thompson was the only quarterback to give UCF its only loss of the season in 2013.

Opening this year with an 11-2 three-peat record, the Gamecocks have high hopes set for 2014.

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