South Carolina football: game times set for first three weeks

A general view of Williams-Brice Stadium. (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images)
A general view of Williams-Brice Stadium. (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images) /

The season will kickoff at 7 PM on Sept 4th.

The South Carolina football team will start its season with a September 4th matchup against Eastern Illinois, as they begin their first campaign under head coach Shane Beamer. On Thursday, the team found out that that meeting will take place under the lights at Williams-Brice Stadium, with the athletic department announcing a 7 PM kick for that opening contest.

The SEC released start times for the first three weeks of the season, and the Gamecocks will play night games for two of those first three matchups. Check out the game times and television schedule for South Carolina below.

  • Game 1  v.  Eastern Illinois – 7 PM on SEC Network alternative
  • Game 2 @ ECU – 12 PM on ESPN2
  • Game 3 @ Georgia – 7 PM on ESPN

This will be the Gamecocks’ second straight night opener, after hosting Tennessee at 7:30 PM last season. It will be the first meeting between South Carolina and the Panthers, who play at Division I’s FCS level.

The Gamecocks will be on the road for the next two weeks, starting with a trip to Greenville, NC to take on East Carolina. The Pirates and Gamecocks have met 19 times, with South Carolina holding a 14-5 overall advantage. They last met in 2016, a 20-15 Gamecock victory. South Carolina has won the last four meetings, and will hope to extend that streak on September 11th.

A trip to Athens will follow, where the Gamecocks will participate in another night game. The 7 PM kick time will see South Carolina taking on their eastern division rivals in prime time, as they look to win for the second straight time in Athens. The Gamecocks took down the third-ranked Bulldogs on the road back in 2019 by a score of 20-17.

What to make of the schedule so far.

Williams-Brice Stadium will be rocking for that night opener, despite playing against FCS competition. Fans will be eager to see what coach Beamer’s team looks like in 2021, and are hoping to quickly erase the memories of a disappointing 2020.

A noon kick at East Carolina could be beneficial, as the early start could alleviate some of the crowd noise in what should be a headline game for the Pirates.

A night game versus the Bulldogs will be tough. South Carolina is 2-3 in their last five trips to Sanford Stadium, and the Georgia faithful will be out in full force, especially if they start the season off with a win over Clemson.