South Carolina faced off against a first-time opponent in 2018 as it welcomed Akron as a replacement game for its cancelled contest against Marshall. Now, the two teams are set to play each other once more - a few years from now, that is.
The Zips announced that it would visit Williams-Brice Stadium on September 21, 2014. Considering the MAC program received over $1 million to play the Gamecocks last year, it’s a move that works for both sides.
“This past year we had the opportunity to play in Columbia and experience one of the classic venues in the SEC,” Akron athletic director Larry Williams said in a release issued by the program. ”Athletic Director Ray Tanner and his entire staff really demonstrated that Southern hospitality. So impressed were we that we seized the chance to provide that same experience to a new cohort of Zip student-athletes, some of whom will likely be from a reasonable proximity to Columbia.”
South Carolina defeated Akron 28-3 on December 1. Jake Bentley went 14-of-27 for 199 yards and 3 touchdowns, but threw 2 interceptions. Mon Denson and Rico Dowdle enjoyed strong games out of the backfield as they combined for 30 carries and 196 yards.
With Akron’s addition to the 2024 slate, the Gamecocks have two more open dates to fill that year. Leading up to then, South Carolina has one available date in 2020 and 2021 and two slots available in 2023, while its 2022 schedule is complete.
Future Non-Conference Opponents
2019: vs. North Carolina (in Charlotte), Charleston Southern, Appalachian State, Clemson
2020: East Carolina, at Clemson
2021: at East Carolina, Troy, Clemson
2022: Georgia State, Charlotte, Wofford, at Clemson
2023: North Carolina, Clemson
2024: Akron, at Clemson