South Carolina Football's Biggest Games to Watch on 2013 Schedule
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It may only be February, but it is time to take a look at the most anticipated football games on the South Carolina Gamecocks' schedule in 2013.
Playing in the SEC makes it impossible for conference members to have an easy schedule.
However, Gamecock fans must be optimistic looking at their schedule for the upcoming season.
Only one of the team's road games comes against an elite SEC squad, which will happen very early on in the season.
The Gamecocks also finish off the regular season by playing their final four games at home.
Here is a look at the biggest games on the schedule for South Carolina this coming season.
August 29, vs. North Carolina Tar Heels
The battle of the Carolinas is a great way to open 2013.
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What a way to start off the season with a battle for Carolina bragging rights.
The Gamecocks face the North Carolina Tar Heels in the season opener at Williams-Brice Stadium, which will be nationally televised on ESPN.
This is the first time since 2007 that these two schools will square off. In the 55 games between the two over the years, UNC has beaten the Gamecocks 34 times.
However, SC has beaten the Tar Heels in four of their last five meetings.
Despite losing star running back Giovani Bernard to the NFL draft, UNC brings back quarterback Bryn Renner, who threw for 28 touchdowns in 2012.
The Tar Heels are coming off a solid 8-4 season, but they will have a tough test against the Gamecocks.
September 7, at Georgia Bulldogs
Clowney and SC manhandled Georgia in 2012.
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The most impressive win for South Carolina last season came against the Georgia Bulldogs.
The Gamecocks dominated at home, shutting down the UGA offense and winning 35-7.
Aaron Murray completed only 11 of his 31 attempts, throwing for just 109 yards in that game.
Jadeveon Clowney and the SC defense put lots of pressure on Murray last season.
Steve Spurrier's defense will ideally do the same in 2013.
Connor Shaw was solid in that game also, throwing two touchdowns as well as running one in.
It will not be nearly as easy this time as the Gamecocks will have to play in front of a hostile Georgia crowd.
This is a big, early test for both teams and is the toughest game on South Carolina's schedule.
November 2, vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs
Mississippi State poses an intriguing matchup in Columbia.
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Last season the Mississippi State Bulldogs had some success in the SEC West.
The Bulldogs got off to a hot start by winning their first seven games of the season, but were then struck down by Alabama, Texas A&M and LSU three weeks in a row.
They finished 8-5 overall and 4-4 in the conference.
The team returns starting quarterback Tyler Russell, as well as starting running back LaDarius Perkins.
Russell threw 24 touchdowns last season and Perkins cracked 1,000 yards rushing.
These two teams last met in 2011, when Alshon Jeffery caught the game-winning touchdown pass from Connor Shaw to seal the deal 14-12.
November 16, vs. Florida Gators
Carolina's QBs really struggled against the Gators in 2012.
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South Carolina will want some revenge against the Florida Gators after last season.
The Gamecocks lost their only two games of the season back-to-back against LSU and Florida in October.
SC got absolutely clobbered in The Swamp by the Gators in a 44-11 loss.
The Gamecocks offense was nonexistent against the Gators. Quarterbacks Connor Shaw and Dylan Thompson combined to complete only 17 of their 40 passes.
There was no running game for SC in the loss either, as the Gamecocks averaged just 1.4 yards per carry against the Gators.
The Gamecocks will need to play much more efficiently, especially on offense, when facing the Gators in 2013.
They cannot afford to leave the defense on the field for the majority of the game as they did last season.
November 30, vs. Clemson Tigers
In 2012 SC impressively beat their nemesis Clemson.
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Of course the last game of the season brings forth the one and only Carolina Gamecocks and Clemson Tigers rivalry.
Last season the Gamecocks came away victorious in a memorable 27-17 game.
Thompson threw three touchdowns on offense, while Clowney recorded an astonishing 4.5 sacks on defense.
The win was the Gamecocks' fourth straight victory over the Tigers. It also gave Steve Spurrier the most wins by a coach in South Carolina history.
The Gamecocks were able to keep Tajh Boyd in check, forcing him to throw two interceptions.
Boyd returns for his senior season and will want to leave Clemson with a win over SC. However, the Tigers will no longer have running back Andre Ellington, as well as Boyd's favorite target, DeAndre Hopkins.
This game will be exciting yet again in 2013 as the Gamecocks look to make it five in a row over the Tigers.