RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- North Carolina State is looking for a rare fast start when it faces South Carolina in the season opener for both teams.
In each of the Wolfpack's first two seasons under Tom O'Brien, N.C. State has struggled out of the gate and had to put together a late-season surge to contend for a bowl game. But this year, O'Brien's squad has eight home games, starting with Steve Spurrier's Gamecocks on Thursday night.
Last year, South Carolina beat N.C. State 34-0 in Columbia in a game that included rookie quarterback Russell Wilson going down with a concussion. Wilson eventually became an all-Atlantic Coast Conference pick and the Wolfpack won four straight games to reach the Papajohns.com Bowl.
South Carolina is trying to improve on a 7-6 season.