Williams-Brice stadium. Cola Daily file photo

South Carolina Football will open under the Shane Beamer era at Williams-Brice Stadium this fall. Game times for the first three matchups of the 2021 season were announced Thursday by the Southeastern Conference (SEC).

The Gamecocks will host Eastern Illinois University at 7 p.m. ET Sept. 4, to kick off the 2021 season. This will be the first meeting on the homefield between the Gamecocks and Panthers. Eastern Illinois is a member of the FCS-level Ohio Valley Conference. They did not play last fall, instead, they competed this spring, posting a 1-5 mark in a conference-only slate.

This year's road opener is scheduled for Sept. 11, when the Gamecocks head to Greenville, NC to go head to head with the East Carolina Pirates. Game time is set for 12 p.m. EST. The Gamecocks hold a 14-5 lead in the all-time series between the two schools, including wins in all four games played this century. This will mark the Gamecocks' first trip to Greenville since 1997. Carolina is 2-1 when playing at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium in Greenville. The Pirates, who compete in the American Athletic Conference (AAC), were 3-6 in 2020 under head coach Mike Houston.

South Carolina's SEC opener is set for Sept. 18, when the Gamecocks travel to Athens to face the Georgia Bulldogs. Kickoff begins at 7 p.m. ET. Georgia leads the all-time series between the neighboring state flagship universities by a 52-19-2 margin, including a 29-9 lead when playing in Athens. The Gamecocks won in double-overtime on their last trip to Sanford Stadium in 2019 by a 20-17 score.

Game times and television networks for the remaining nine games of the Gamecocks' 2021 schedule will be announced at a later date.

Sept. 4 vs Eastern Illinois 7 p.m. ESPN+/SECN+ (Digital)

Sept. 11 at East Carolina 12 p.m. ESPN2

Sept. 18 at Georgia 7 p.m. ESPN

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