Staff report

South Carolina will open its 2014 football season with a Thursday night home game against Texas A&M, it was announced Wednesday with the release of the Southeastern Conference schedule for next season.

The Gamecocks will play at Auburn on Oct. 25.

South Carolina’s 2014 non-conference opponents and all SEC foes except Auburn have been known for months, but fans were eagerly awaiting dates. Three straight home games start the South Carolina season: Aug. 28 vs. Texas A&M, Sept. 6 vs. East Carolina and Sept. 13 vs. Georgia.

The Gamecocks have bye weeks on Oct. 11 (before a Furman home game) and Nov. 8 (before a Florida road game).

South Carolina and Texas A&M have not clashed in football. But it’s no sure thing that Aggies Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Johnny Manziel will appear in Columbia; the troubled redshirt sophomore is eligible for the 2014 NFL draft.

The full 2014 South Carolina football schedule:

Thursday, August 28, vs Texas A&M*

Saturday, September 6, vs East Carolina

Saturday, September 13, vs Georgia*

Saturday, September 20, at Vanderbilt*

Saturday, September 27, vs Missouri*

Saturday, October 4, at Kentucky*

Saturday, October 18, vs Furman

Saturday, October 25, at Auburn*

Saturday, November 1, vs Tennessee*

Saturday, November 15, at Florida*

Saturday, November 22, vs South Alabama

Saturday, November 29, at Clemson

* SEC game