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South Carolina Gamecocks Football: Looking Inside USC's Opening Day Numbers

Scouring the history books!

Streeter Lecka

Greetings Gamecocks and honored guests!  We hope you enjoyed South Carolina Gamecocks Football: 10 Best Openers in the Last Fifty Years Part 1 and Part 2.  Now we are going to go inside the numbers for season openers for the South Carolina Gamecocks!

86,117  most ever to watch USC play opener [UGA/Sanford Stadium, 95 [lost 34-24]).

83,717  largest Williams-Brice crowd to watch an opening game [NMSU, 02 [won 42-23]).

2,663  longest distance traveled by an opening day foe (Pacific [Stockton, CA] - 80, 82).

1,021  longest distanced traveled by USC to play an opening day game (Baylor, 49).

389   most passing yards by a USC QB (95, Steve Taneyhill, v. UGA [lost 24-21]).

187   most rushing yards by a USC RB (96, Duce Staley v. UCF [won 33-14]).

146   most receiving yards by a USC WR (84, Ira Hillary v. Citadel [won 31-24]).

102   longest interception return by USC (75, Mel Baxley v. GT [won 41-28] - scored TD).

92     times USC has opened the season at home.

89     longest kick-off return by USC (85, Hardin Brown v. Citadel [won 56-17] - no score).

80     Gamecock opening day victories (.683).

70     number of season-opening wins at home (.783).

68     longest punt return by USC (11, Ace Sanders v. ECU [won 56-37] - scored TD).

60     most points surrendered by USC (Duke 45) and largest opening margin of defeat.

56     most points scored by USC against an opening day opponent (Citadel, 85 [56-17]).

53     largest margin of victory by USC in an opener (Erskine, 38 [53-0]).

36     Gamecock opening day defeats.

34     most pass completions in an opener (95, Steve Taneyhill, v. UGA [lost 24-21]).

29     times USC has shut-out the opening day opponent.

28     earliest day in August we have had an opener (NC State, 08; A&M, 14).

27     times we have opened the season on the road (record: 9-18).

24     Steve Spurrier's streak of season-opening wins as head coach (including NFL).

17     most against same foe (Duke: 31, 45, 50, 51, 53, 57-61, 63, 64, 68, 69, 89, 90, 91).

14     Carolina's current winning streak for season-openers - home and away.

13     times we have been shut out by our opening day foe (last: 99 v. NCSU [lost 10-0]).

11     as in month of November - latest opened a season since 1900 (Clem. 11.2.1918).

11     v. ranked (Duke 50, 52-53, 57, 62; Army 54; GT 71; NC 83; MIA 86, GA 92-93; A&M 14).

10     longest stretch opening against same opponent (Erskine,1921-1929) - won all.

10     times USC ranked in AP poll on opening day (59, 70, 85, 88, 01, 02, 11, 12, 13, 14).

9       times USC faced Georgia in opener (1894, 1900-1901, 1911, 40, 92, 93, 94, 95).

8       openers against SEC teams (UGA; 92-95, VU: 04, 12; MSU:'06; A&M: 14).

8       times we have faced non-collegiate foes in the opener.

4       longest losing streak for USC in opening games (Duke 60-61, 63; N'western 62).

4       number of opening day ties (Ridgewood:1908; Tennessee: 42; Duke, 64, 91).

3       Highest AP pre-season rank of an opening day foe (Miami, '86 [lost 34-14]).

2       times USC has opened against Clemson (1897, 1918) - lost both.

1       opening games at a neutral site (ECU, 11 at Charlotte, N.C.[won 56-37]).

1       times USC and opponent both in pre-season AP top 25 (TAMU, 14).

0       lowest total scored in a USC opener (Ridgewood - 1908, 0-0).

Corrections:  I originally had UNC '12 as the largest W-B home opening crowd; it was the 5th largest; I originally put a tie against NCA&M in 1904 but corrected it to Ridgewood in 1908.

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What is your favorite memory a USC season opener?