Football tailgating is a big deal in South Carolina, even at the smaller schools. Here are some tips for fans who want to experience more than just the University of South Carolina or Clemson tailgate experience this fall.
Furman’s stadium near Greenville is surrounded by mountains, making it especially colorful for late October and early November games when the leaves are changing. This year, the Nov. 15 game (scheduled for a noon start) against Wofford should be the best for leaf viewing. Ought to be a good game between neighboring rivals, too.
The military presence is unique at The Citadel in Charleston. The cadets march into the stadium, and they have special cheers. Two prime home games on the Bulldogs’ schedule are 1 p.m. Oct. 18 against Chattanooga and 2 p.m. Nov. 8 against Furman.
Few fans put out a better food spread than those at S.C. State in Orangeburg. Many of the grills are fired up around sunrise to allow for the slow cooking that makes barbecue ribs fall off the bone. The most lavish pre-game party usually is reserved for homecoming, which this year is 1:30 p.m. Nov. 1 against Savannah State.
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The S.C. State fans get a chance to start the season Saturday, when the tailgate grill battle with Benedict College fans at Charlie W. Johnson Stadium in Columbia will be as intense as the 5 p.m. Capital City Classic game itself.