The Gamecocks will travel to Chapel Hill, N.C. to face the Tar Heels on Saturday, October 13, 2007. The return date at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia is set for Saturday, September 18, 2010.
"We are excited to have this home-and-home series with North Carolina on the schedule," said Carolina Gamecock Athletic Director Eric Hyman, a UNC alumni. "It is a natural rivalry that should generate a lot of interest. We had overtures to play the game at a neutral site outside the state lines, but felt it was in the best interest of our fans and our local businesses to play a home-and-home series with one of the games right here in Columbia."
The teams have met 54 times previously, with UNC holding a 34-16-4 advantage in the all-time series that dates back to 1903. The teams met every year from 1949 to 1964, but have not met since the 1991 season, a squeaker of a 21-17 Tar Heel win in Chapel Hill. The Carolina Gamecocks have won three of the last four meetings and nine of the last 14 meetings between the two bordering schools.
"We think it is an excellent game for both schools," said South Carolina Head Coach Steve Spurrier. "It should be a good game. Both schools should be looking forward to it."
"Our football program is excited about adding South Carolina to our future schedule," said UNC Director of Athletics Dick Baddour. "The NCAA rule that allows us to play a 12th game gave us an opportunity to get South Carolina back on the schedule. It's been 14 years since we last played in football and both schools agreed that was too long. We anticipate our players, coaches and fans will look forward to playing this series."
"I'm looking forward to the opportunity to play South Carolina in the future," said Tar Heel head coach John Bunting. "This is a game I have wanted on our schedule since I became head coach and I appreciate all the hard work Dick Baddour did to make this a reality. We are going to continue to strive to have a schedule that is both challenging and sensible as we continue to build this program."
This is a game that most Gamecock fans have demanded for years, and many are disappointed that the home and home series has a two year split between the two games. Former Gamecock Athletic Director Mike McGee, a Duke alumni, tried for years to put the game together but his efforts were thwarted by UNC administrators demanding that the game be played on a neutral field in Charlotte, NC, the home of the Carolina Panthers of the NFL.
For a 2007 schedule visit GamecockNation.com and click on the football>schedule link.
This game adds to the growing list of SEC (Southeastern Conference) Vs ACC (Atlantic Coast Conference) games being scheduled to be played in the future.
Three traditional instate rivalry games are already being played every season between the two conferences: South Carolina Vs Clemson, Florida Vs Florida State and Georgia Vs Georgia Tech.
When asked over the summer if South Carolina was finally having any luck getting North Carolina to agree contractually to a series, Steve Spurrier replied, "No, not much. And it takes two to tango."
Hyman's connections to Chapel Hill no doubt facilitated the agreement between the two schools.
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