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South Carolina football looking to continue success in season openers

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As it turns out, the Gamecocks don’t lose a lot in the first game of the season.

North Carolina v South Carolina Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

It hasn’t always been a sign of good things to come for the Gamecocks football team, but while they’ve struggled with winning at times over the recent past, they haven’t really had a hard time winning season openers.

In fact, since 2000, the Gamecocks have only opened the season with a loss once, the 52-28 defeat to the Kenny Hill-led Texas A&M Aggies in 2014. All told, in season openers thus far this century, South Carolina is an astounding 15-1. If you’d like to take it farther back - 1996, to be exact - they are 18-2 in the first game of the season.

On the other side of the football, Vanderbilt hasn’t been as successful in their season openers in the past 16 years. Since 2000, they are only 5-11 in opening games, including a five-game losing skid from 2000-2004. They are 0 for their last four in Week 1 contests, with their last positive result coming in a 45-14 victory against Elon in 2011.

We’ve talked about the importance of this particular season opener against Vanderbilt, as it will be key for Will Muschamp to set the tone coming out of the gate and to ensure the Gamecocks get off on the right foot in their quest to get back to, at worst, a bowl appearance. But if history from the past two decades is a good teacher, they have the numbers heavily on their side as it relates to Week 1 games.