N.C. State has agreed to open the 2017 college football season against South Carolina at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium, according to two sources with knowledge of the agreement.
The deal makes South Carolina a regular in Charlotte for the Belk College Kickoff Classic and significantly upgrades N.C. State’s nonconference schedule.
The Wolfpack and coach Dave Doeren have been criticized the past two years for playing a soft schedule outside the ACC. The addition of an SEC team, to go with a pair of games with Notre Dame and East Carolina, should ease most of those problems.
South Carolina opened this season in Charlotte, with a 17-13 win over North Carolina, and had previously agreed to play the Tar Heels again in Charlotte in 2019 and 2023.
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West Virginia and Tennessee also have a contract with the Charlotte Sports Foundation to play at BoA Stadium in 2018.
The deal between the Wolfpack and Gamecocks has yet to be announced because N.C. State is finalizing a deal with Troy to move its scheduled trip to the Sun Belt team in 2017 to a later date.
N.C. State and South Carolina, former ACC foes, have played only twice in the last 15 years. The Gamecocks beat N.C. State 34-0 in Columbia, S.C. to open the 2008 season and 7-3 the next year in Raleigh in the season-opener.
N.C. State has won its last three games in Charlotte, including a Belk Bowl victory over Louisville in 2011.
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N.C. State’s nonconference schedule the next four years:
2016: at ECU, Old Dominion, Notre Dame, William & Mary
2017: vs. South Carolina (at Charlotte), at Notre Dame, Marshall, Furman
2018: Georgia State, West Virginia, at Marshall, James Madison
2019: ECU, Western Carolina, at West Virginia, Ball State