The South Carolina football team finally knows its final opponent of the regular season.
It was a bit of a surprise.
The Gamecocks will host Akron in Williams-Brice Stadium on Dec. 1, the school announced Friday. The game replaces a September meeting with Marshall, which was canceled because of Hurricane Florence.
Kickoff is at noon. It will be broadcast on the SEC Network Alternate channel and can be streamed on SEC Network Plus.
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“Akron is a quality opponent and someone that we have to be prepared to play,” South Carolina head football coach Will Muschamp said in a statement. “They’ve been to a bowl game two of the last three years. I’ve known Coach [Terry] Bowden for many years and know that he’ll have his team ready to play.”
There hadn’t been much buzz about the Zips (4-4, 2-3 MAC), whose Nebraska game was canceled by severe weather. On Thursday night they became the first team to officially be available for a Dec. 1 game.
USC athletic director Ray Tanner and Muschamp said early on they aimed to play a 12th game. The opponent was likely to be a mid-major and the final weekend of the season quickly became the date of choice.
When Akron lost to Northern Illinois and Buffalo won, it eliminated the Zips from contention in the MAC. South Carolina had already been eliminated from the SEC East race. Marshall, Southern Miss and Appalachian State were three other schools the Gamecocks were most likely considering for the makeup game.
“We are appreciative of Athletics Director Larry Williams and the administration at Akron in agreeing to play at Williams-Brice Stadium on Dec. 1,” Tanner said. “This will give our fans another opportunity to support our football program against a quality FBS opponent.”
The Gamecocks will close the season with Florida, Chattanooga and Clemson before hosting Akron. This will be the teams’ first meeting.
According to the statement: “Season ticket holders will be given an opportunity to purchase their season ticket and parking locations until Nov. 19, 2018 at 5 p.m. There is no charge for parking for the December 1st game if you had previously purchased a season pass. All season ticket holders wishing to purchase should log into their account manager at www.gamecocksonline.com/tickets to pay the invoice associated with the Dec. 1 game.
General public ticket sales will begin on Monday, Nov. 5 at 10 a.m. Unclaimed non-premium season tickets and parking inventory will be on sale after the Nov. 19 deadline. Invoices may also be paid by calling the Ticket Office at 803-777-4274 or the Gamecock Club at 803-777-4276.
Tickets will be printed and mailed via USPS starting Wednesday, Nov. 21. Parking passes for the game will be delivered via PDF in an email by Nov. 23.
If you are not currently a season ticket holder, single game tickets may also be purchased at GamecocksOnline.com/tickets. Tickets for the game are $50 for lower level, and $45 for upper level.
Refunds from the Sept. 15 Marshall game to those individuals who bought them from the USC ticket office are currently in process and are expected to be completed by Nov. 15. Please be aware that tickets from the Marshall game will not be honored for the Dec. 1 game, as the refunds for that game have been processed and submitted.”
SOUTH CAROLINA 2018 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Sept. 1: South Carolina 49, Coastal Carolina 15
Sept. 8: Georgia 41, South Carolina 17*
Sept. 15 Marshall CANCELED
Sept. 22: South Carolina 37, Vanderbilt 14*
Sept. 29: Kentucky 24, South Carolina 10*
Oct. 6: South Carolina 37, Missouri 35*
Oct. 13: Texas A&M 26, South Carolina 23*
Oct. 27: South Carolina 27, Tennessee 24*
Nov. 3 at Ole Miss, Noon, SEC Network*
Nov. 10 at Florida*
Nov. 17 Chattanooga
Nov. 24 at Clemson
Dec. 1 vs. Akron, noon (SEC Network Alternate)