If we're being totally honest, there's not much history between South Carolina and Central Florida.
The Gamecocks are 4-0 all-time against the Knights, having beaten them in 1996 and 1997, as well as in Steve Spurrier's first game in Columbia in 2005 and in a 2013 matchup that featured two of the best teams in the schools' respective histories.
So instead of rehashing games that are pretty familiar to most Gamecock fans, here's a look at three Gamecock wins that took place on Sept. 26, when South Carolina holds an overall 3-6-2 record.
"All Praise To Erksine's Gallant Fight!"
1925 marked a new era in South Carolina football as Branch Bocock took over as the head coach of the Gamecocks. South Carolina was coming off its best season in 21 years, having gone 7-3 in Sol Metzger's final year at the helm. The Gamecocks opened the 1925 campaign at home against Erksine, as they would every year from 1921 to 1930. South Carolina had outscored the Seceders 97-0 in the previous three seasons combined.
Once again, the Gamecocks would not be tested by Erskine. After a scoreless first quarter, South Carolina ran up a 33-0 victory to give Bocock his first win as head coach. Quarterback Jack Wright scored two rushing touchdowns on the day and South Carolina stymied the Erskine offense, as the Seceders did not pick up a single first down. The local writer did note that South Carolina's large bench allowed it to substitute more freely and that Erskine's spirits never broke, despite such a lopsided score. He ended his game report with the sentiment, "All praise to Erskine's gallant fight!"
The Gamecocks would go on to enjoy great success in 1925 behind one of the toughest defenses in South Carolina history. Opponents scored just 27 points against the Gamecocks, the fewest ever allowed by a South Carolina team that played at least 10 games. The Gamecocks blanked Clemson 33-0 for the team's second consecutive shutout win over the Tigers and finished with a 7-3 overall record in Bocock's first year at the helm. Only four other coaches in Gamecock history (Warren Giese, Jim Carlen, Brad Scott and Steve Spurrier) have ever won seven games in their first season at South Carolina.
Spoiling Wade's Debut
South Carolina had won six games in three consecutive seasons under head coach Billy Laval as the 1931 campaign kicked off. The Gamecocks' first test of the year would be in Columbia against the Duke Blue Devils, who had recently shocked the college football world by hiring former Alabama head coach Wallace Wade. The 39-year old had led the Crimson Tide to three national championships, including a title in 1931, before coming to Duke.
Wade never lost a season opener in eight years at Alabama, but his Blue Devils could not stop Gamecock sophomore Earl Clary. The Gaffney native scored South Carolina's lone touchdown in the second quarter as the Gamecocks defeated Duke 7-0 to hand Wallace Wade his first loss as a coach since 1929. The contest was attended by 12,000 fans, the largest crowd to ever see a non-Carolina vs. Clemson football game in the state's history.
After the win over the Blue Devils, South Carolina dropped road contests against Georgia Tech and LSU. However, the Gamecocks blanked Clemson 21-0 for Laval's first win over the Tigers and South Carolina's first victory in the rivalry since 1926. The Gamecocks ended the year with a 5-4-1 record. Laval had winning records in all seven seasons as head coach and his seven consecutive years of +.500 football has only been tied once in Gamecock history, by Steve Spurrier.
South Carolina entered the 1959 season in unfamiliar territory. For the first time in program history, the Gamecocks began the year ranked in the AP Poll. Following back-to-back 7-3 campaigns, South Carolina began the '59 season at #14 in the nation and defeated Duke 8-0 in the opener. The Gamecocks slipped to #20 after the win and prepared for the Purples of Furman.
Behind a bruising ground game that netted 313 yards, South Carolina pummeled Furman 30-0 in front of a crowd of roughly 14,000. Gamecock fullback Phil Lavoie scored two touchdowns and quarterback Steve Satterfield added a rushing and passing score as the Gamecocks routed the Purples for their 10th consecutive victory in the series. Furman was hurt by multiple dropped passes, as quarterback Billy Baker finished 9-for-20 for 100 yards passing.
The Gamecocks knocked off 13th-ranked Georgia the following week to climb to No. 11 in the polls, their highest ranking ever. However, an upset loss to unranked North Carolina in Chapel Hill sent the Gamecocks tumbling out of the rankings. South Carolina finished the season 6-4 and would not return to the national polls for 11 years.