COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The University of South Carolina has announced its 2011 football schedule.
The Gamecocks, who are coming off a 9-5 season, their first SEC Eastern Division title and a top-25 national ranking, will play seven home games in 2011 and 10 contests against opponents that are coming off bowl appearances.
The Gamecocks will open the 2011 season on Sept. 3 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte against the East Carolina Pirates. South Carolina leads the all-time series with ECU, 10-5, but the teams have not met since the Pirates posted a 21-3 win in 1999. The 2011 game will mark the first game of a five-game series between the two squads. The teams will meet in Columbia in 2012 and 2016, will play again in Charlotte in 2014, and will meet at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium in Greenville, N.C. in 2015.
The Gamecocks will open SEC action the following week when they travel to Georgia to face the Bulldogs on Sept. 10. Georgia leads the all-time series 46-15-2, but Carolina posted a 17-6 win in Columbia in 2010.
The 2011 home opener will take place Sept. 17 with the Navy Midshipmen providing the opposition in a non-conference battle. It will mark the first meeting between the two schools since the 1988 season and also is the first game of a four-game home stand for the Gamecocks. South Carolina leads the all-time series with Navy, four games to three.
The first SEC home game will be on Sept. 24 with the Vanderbilt Commodores making their way to Williams-Brice Stadium. South Carolina leads the all-time series with Vanderbilt by a 16-4 count, including a 21-7 win in Nashville in 2010.
The 2010 National Champion Auburn Tigers will visit Columbia on Saturday, Oct. 1. The Tigers defeated the Gamecocks twice during the 2010 season, including the SEC Championship Game, and lead the all-time series 8-1-1. It will mark the fifth straight season in which Carolina has faced the defending national champions.
The Kentucky Wildcats will come to Columbia on Oct. 8 for the final game of the four-game home stand. Kentucky upset South Carolina in 2010, snapping a 10-game losing streak to the Gamecocks. Carolina still holds a commanding 14-7-1 advantage in the all-time series.
The Gamecocks will travel to Mississippi State on Oct. 15. It will mark the first trip to Starkville since the 2006 season. South Carolina has won the last five meetings between the two SEC schools to take a slim 7-6 advantage in the all-time series.
The Gamecocks will enjoy an open week before returning to SEC action with another road test, this time at Tennessee on Oct. 29. South Carolina defeated the Vols, 38-24, in 2010 and has won two of the last three meetings, but still trails in the all-time series by a 22-5-2 margin.
A third-straight SEC road game is in store when Carolina travels to Fayetteville on Nov. 5 to face the Arkansas Razorbacks. The two teams have met every year since joining the SEC for the 1992 season, with the Hogs holding a 12-7 advantage in the all-time series.
After a month-long hiatus, South Carolina returns to the friendly confines of Williams-Brice Stadium for its final three contests. The SEC regular season comes to an end on Nov. 12 when the Florida Gators visit Columbia. South Carolina posted a convincing 36-14 win in Gainesville last season to capture the SEC Eastern Division title, but the Gators lead the all-time series, 23-5-3.
The final two games of the regular season will be non-conference tilts against instate opponents. The Citadel will come to Columbia on Nov. 19 for the first time since the 1990 season. South Carolina holds a commanding 39-7-3 lead in the all-time series between the two Palmetto State institutions.
The regular season finale will pit the Gamecocks against the Clemson Tigers on Nov. 26 in the annual Palmetto State Showdown. South Carolina has won each of the last two games in the series against its upstate rivals.
2011 South Carolina Gamecocks Football Schedule (Kickoff times will be announced at a later date):
Information from University of South Carolina Athletics.