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No. 6 South Carolina, Clowney looking to make an impact in opener against North Carolina

Steve Spurrier has always liked the attention South Carolina gets by starting its season on a Thursday night.

Having All-America Jadeveon Clowney on the sidelines, though, guarantees the Gamecocks will get plenty of attention whenever they play this season.

No. 6 South Carolina opens the season at Williams-Brice Stadium against North Carolina. Spurrier loves getting a jump on opening weekend — the Gamecocks have started on Thursday four of the past six years — but was surprised when he found out every NFL team closes the preseason that night.

Those NFL teams might otherwise be watching Clowney.

The 6-foot-6, 274-pound junior steps on the field for the first time since the Outback Bowl when his helmet-popping hit of Michigan's Vincent Smith became the talk of college football.