Heavy traffic, high temperatures greet college football kickoff in Columbia

Alex Holtkamp yells out to others while tailgating before the start of the USC-UNC football game Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013 at USC in Columbia. Paul Zoeller/Staff Buy this photo

COLUMBIA – A late-arriving crowd, many coming directly from work, streamed into Columbia, clogging every major artery to Williams- Brice Stadium late Thursday afternoon in anticipation of the start of the 2013 college football season.

There was a festive atmosphere around the stadium as fans waited for the start of the first collegiate football game of the season – No. 6 South Carolina vs. North Carolina.

With temperatures well above 90 degrees, there were more than a dozen people treated outside Williams-Brice Stadium for heat-related illnesses.

The status of South Carolina wide receiver Bruce Ellington, a former Berkeley High School star, remained uncertain an hour before kickoff. Ellington has been battling a hamstring injury throughout the preseason camp.

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