South Carolina will play a home game vs. Akron on Dec. 1 to make up for the game vs. Marshall that was canceled on Sept. 15 due to Hurricane Florence, the school announced on Friday. The matchup will add a 12th game to the schedule of both schools. Akron's road game vs. Nebraska on Sept. 1 was also canceled due to storms in the area.
"Akron is a quality opponent and someone that we have to be prepared to play," South Carolina coach Will Muschamp said. "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."
Bowden, of course, is the son of legendary coach Bobby Bowden and a former coach at Auburn (1993-98).
"What a great opportunity to play at South Carolina against the Gamecocks," Bowden said. "Our young men were so disappointed when the Nebraska game was cancelled due to lightning. We felt it was important to give them a game in such a great venue."
It could turn out to be a huge game for both sides. The Gamecocks are 4-3 right now, and should at least get one more win later in the season against Chattanooga. But the rest of the schedule includes three road games -- Ole Miss this weekend, Florida on Nov. 10 and Clemson on Nov. 24. Even if the Gamecocks lose all three of those, it will have a chance to post a .500 record and make a bowl game against Akron.
The Zips are in a similar situations. They sit at 4-4 overall, and 2-3 in the MAC. They have games against Eastern Michigan, Bowling Green and Ohio left. Ohio will be a tough game, and Eastern Michigan has a win over Purdue on its resume. Bowling Green is sputtering at 1-8 (0-5 MAC), but anything is possible for MACtion in November.
"This gives us the best opportunity to earn a bowl bid," Akron athletic director Larry Williams said. "It will be a first-class trip that gives us the chance to match up against a quality opponent that evaded us in the opening weekend. [South Carolina athletic director] Ray Tanner has been extremely collaborative throughout, and our student-athletes look forward to the opportunity."
Kickoff from Williams-Brice Stadium for the Dec. 1 makeup game will be at noon ET.