Marshall will get $1.4 million to play at USC in 2018

COLUMBIA — Marshall will visit South Carolina in football in 2018, and receive a $1.4 million guarantee for the trip.

The West Virginia school announced the game Friday morning. The guarantee is the largest ever received by Marshall, and one of the largest paid by South Carolina. Massachusetts is receiving $1.5 million to visit Williams-Brice Stadium this season, UMass athletic director Ryan Bamford told reporters after that game was scheduled.

“We’re excited to play an SEC school, especially one that is in a fertile recruiting ground for our program and within driving distance for our fans,” Marshall athletic director Mike Hamrick said in a release. “We had an opportunity to play a game of this caliber in 2018 and it was too good to pass up.”

The two teams have met in football just once, with the Thundering Herd defeating the Gamecocks, 24-21, in Williams-Brice Stadium during USC’s 1-10 season of 1998.

The game is scheduled for Sept. 15, 2018, according to USC. The Gamecocks previously announced two non-conference opponents for the 2017 season, North Carolina State in Charlotte on Labor Day weekend, and Louisiana Tech in Columbia on Sept. 23.

The guarantee amount paid to Marshall continues the trend of rising costs to attract Football Bowl Subdivision opponents from outside the power five conferences. South Carolina paid South Alabama and Alabama-Birmingham $900,000 each for games in 2014 and 2012 respectively, and paid Navy $950,000 for a game in 2011.