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Caulton Tudor

Ghost of the Gamecocks materializes - in football!

Posted July 21, 2013
Updated July 22, 2013

— The University of South Carolina ended its membership in the Atlantic Coast Conference shortly after upending North Carolina for the 1971 league basketball championship in Greensboro Coliseum.

You never would have known the ol’ red Roosters were gone – much less long gone – when the ACC Kickoff event began Sunday at Grandover Resort, which is located only a few miles from the site of that memorable 1971 hoops game between Frank McGuire’s Gamecocks and a young Dean Smith’s Tar Heels.

Thanks to imminently quotable defensive star Jadeveon Clowney, the Gamecocks probably ranked as discussion topic No. 1 as players and coaches from the new-look ACC gathered to discuss their collective outlook for the 2013 season.

Clowney, a 6-foot-6, 275-pound junior end from Rock Hill (S.C.) South Pointe High, a few days earlier had mentioned that Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd seemed to be afraid of the Gamecocks’ defensive line.

Boyd, the likely preseason ACC offensive player of the year pick, more or less laughed it off Sunday.

“I’m not scared at all,” Boyd said with a smile while still maintaining a businesslike approach to one of the day’s first questions.

Assuming both men stay healthy, Clowney and Boyd can settle that issue on Nov. 30 in Columbia, S.C., where the Tigers will attempt to reverse last season’s 27-17 loss in Clemson in the final regular-season game.

But for the here and now, the quarterback who has to be far more concerned about the Clowney havoc factor is North Carolina’s Bryn Renner.

When the Tar Heels (8-4 overall, 5-3 ACC last season) visit South Carolina (11-2, 6-2 Southeastern Conference) on Thursday, Aug. 29 (6 p.m.), Williams-Brice Stadium will be flooded by more than 80,000 fans and at least 20 NFL scouts, many of whom will arrive with a front-office directive to assume Clowney will be among the four or five strongest contenders as the 2014 No. 1 draft pick.

Tar Heel defensive lineman Kareem Martin, a Clowney-sized junior defensive end from Roanoke Rapids High, said Sunday that his team has a “great opportunity” to steal the game and the NFL auditions from Clowney and the Gamecocks.

But Renner, a 6-3, 225-pound senior from West Springfield (Va.) High, understandably took a lower-key approach. After all, Renner is the guy Clowney most wants to present as QB offering No. 1 to those NFL scouts.

“We have a great opportunity to play a team like that _ with the best player in the country,” Renner said. “I’m very eager to get the opportunity to play against him … but he’s phenomenal. There’s no player I can compare him to … I mean, he’s just the best player in the country. But in order to get better, you have to play against better players and better teams.”

In UNC’s chance, it’s a 180-degree change from 2012, when Larry Fedora’s debut resulted in a 62-0 win over Elon.

For both Renner and Martin – well for that matter, Fedora and his entire second-year UNC program – this opening-game ranks among the most intriguing of any on the national schedule, although Boyd and the Tigers might debate that assertion since the have to open against Georgia.

But nationally, Clemson and UGA are more or less proven staples. The Tar Heels certainly are not, and Steve Spurrier in his 9th season with the Gamecocks, still hasn’t really cracked the top-5 ceiling.

“It’s just an opportunity game all the way around,” Martin said.

With 28 touchdown completions (seven picks) and more than 3,330 yards passing last season, Renner made a huge jump on the NFL stock market. He’s obviously not yet in the same draft projection territory with Boyd, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel or even San Jose State’s David Fales, but Renner has emerged as an item.

He dodges that matter – perhaps on Fedora’s advice. But there’s no doubt that opening-day against Clowney and the Gamecocks could amount to a windfall for Renner and the Heels.

26 Comments

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  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Jul 21, 7:20 p.m.

    Gotta give Fedora credit for scheduling such a tough opponent - on the road - to open the season. Renner took the high road and said the right things, but he's probably concerned about getting out of South Carolina in one piece.

  • jdupree Jul 21, 7:50 p.m.

    This will be a slaughter!

  • 4tarheels Jul 21, 8:08 p.m.

    I think UNC will make this a very competitive game. Let's go HEELS!

  • flagshipu Jul 21, 8:09 p.m.

    Looking forward to Tears of a Clowney when this ones over.

    #HEELBLOOD!!!

  • 903 crybaby Jul 21, 8:14 p.m.

    Tudor throwing out more troll bait.

  • The Greatest Ever Jul 21, 8:23 p.m.

    Tudor needs to just stay retired!! Go Heels! We rok!

  • InTheNo Jul 21, 9:09 p.m.

    Article on ACC Football Kickoff by Carlton Tuder

    I was an old smoking buddy of Dean Smith.
    Dean coached the Heels in that 71 Championship Game. Dean. Carolina. Dean.
    North Carolina is playing South Carolina to open the season.
    Even though other local, hometown, ACC teams have opened with South Carolina recently and even though Georgia opens with Clemson, this Carolina game is the biggest opening day game of the collegiate season and Brynn Renner, knocked unconscious in Raleigh by State's defensive line, is one of the top players in the country and will be a great NFL quarterback despite his lack of size, speed and strength. Dean Smith. Carolina. 1971.

  • Hammerhead Jul 21, 9:38 p.m.

    Looking forward to Tears of a Clowney when this ones over.

    #HEELBLOOD!!!

    — Posted by flagshipu

    Game Cox defense on passing plays.....Send In The Clowney.

  • Hammerhead Jul 21, 9:56 p.m.

    Tudor needs to just stay retired!! Go Heels! We rok!

    — Posted by The Greatest Ever

    He's definitely reaching with this one.

  • scousler Jul 21, 10:31 p.m.

    I would call SC one of the best looking teams in the nation in pre-season. They are definitely the prohibitive favorite. But I also remember another such game against LSU a few years back where a suspension devastated UNC team lost by a whisker.

    I hope its a good close game with hard hits, but no injuries.

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UNC 66
BUT 74
Final
ECU 73
HAW 75
Final
DUKE 93
FUR 54
4th
CHA 88
POR 98
 
Final
NCSU 84
RICH 72
 
2nd Intermission
FLA 1
CAR 0
 
4th
PHI 83
BRK 85
 
4th
ORL 79
GSW 100
 
4th
CHA 88
POR 98
 
4th
CLE 87
WAS 69
 
3rd
DET 60
LAC 58
 
3rd
DAL 51
NYK 53
 
3rd
ATL 71
TOR 75
 
Half
MIN 47
MIL 51
 
2nd
HOU 57
SAC 49
 
Half
OKC 56
UTA 48
 
2nd
SAN 25
IND 27
 
9:00pm Tonight
PHO
DEN
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
MEM
Final
UNC 66
BUT 74
Final
FRES 64
MAR 68
Final
CHAT 61
RMU 46
Final
EMICH 68
ROCH 35
 
Final
MRGST 51
LIB 50
 
Final
HAMP 60
AMER 64
 
Final
BEL 78
DEN 57
Final
UMASS 79
NE 54
Final
JMU 79
SHU 72
 
Final
KNST 84
SAMF 71
 
Final
ECU 73
HAW 75
Final
CHAM 60
MIZZ 74
Final
CCAR 61
LAMON 48
Final
OKLA 75
UCLA 65
Final
ELON 65
UNF 72
 
Final
UWMIL 66
ORU 69
Final
WCU 66
CHIST 61
Final
DUKE 93
FUR 54
Final
BYU 85
PURD 87
 
Final
EVAN 79
USF 72
 
Final
COL 71
GTDNS 75
 
Final
VERM 73
BRY 47
 
Final
OSU 91
CAMP 64
 
Final
LOU 45
CLST 33
 
Final
UCF 69
DAVID 95
 
Final
IONA 126
DELST 76
 
Final
OU 78
UGST 83
 
Final
TOWS 97
GOUCHER 43
 
Final
ND 81
GRAM 54
 
Final
YALE 82
LAF 60
 
2nd
GWU 86
LONG 66
 
Final
VT 78
UMO 63
 
Final
WAKE 83
MNTER 49
 
Final
NAVY 67
PSUHARRIS 42
 
Final
NCSU 84
RICH 72
 
2nd
MINN 59
STJ 65
 
Final
JVU 69
TRINBAPT 57
 
Final
YOUNG 66
UMKC 63
 
Final
UAB 43
WISC 72
 
2nd
CORN 59
CAN 52
 
2nd
WVU 83
VMI 51
 
Half
DEP 30
LEH 41
 
Half
UNT 41
MVSU 27
 
Half
MARS 37
MORE 50
 
Half
TCU 31
RAD 20
 
2nd
SELA 42
TENT 52
 
Half
SMU 32
TXSOU 25
 
Half
UTAH 50
TXPA 26
 
Half
LMU 30
UCR 31
 
2nd
SCAR 39
UNCA 34
 
2nd
SD 47
WAYNEST 42
 
Half
PITT 30
KYST 27
 
1st
UWGB 20
FLGC 10
 
1st
IOWA 25
NILL 15
 
1st
ORST 0
AUB 0
 
9:00pm Tonight
MONT
CARROLLMT
 
9:00pm Tonight
SUTAH
EKENT
9:00pm Tonight
NMST
FAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
WYO
STET
 
9:05pm Tonight
EWASH
NKENTUCKY
 
9:05pm Tonight
IDST
WLVRN
 
9:30pm Tonight
GEOR
UF
9:30pm Tonight
GONZ
UGA
9:30pm Tonight
NIOWA
NW
10:00pm Tonight
SDST
ARZ
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
CPSL
10:00pm Tonight
UCD
UTST
10:30pm Tonight
NDAK
ALAST
11:00pm Tonight
CSNO
PORST
11:30pm Tonight
AKAN
PAC
11:30pm Tonight
OKST
TULSA
3rd
NYI 2
WAS 2
 
3rd
BUF 1
WIN 2
 
2nd Intermission
FLA 1
CAR 0
 
2nd
TAM 3
NYR 2
 
2nd
DET 3
PHI 1
 
2nd
PIT 3
TOR 2
 
2nd
MIN 0
LOS 4
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
CHI
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
CAL