Miami

South Carolina and Miami, two former independents, will face each other in 2026 and 2027. Keith Srakocic/AP

COLUMBIA — It’s been a long time, and for good reason. South Carolina officials were so mad at the cheap shots Miami delivered when the schools last played a regular-season football game, they swore to never again schedule the Hurricanes.

That was a long time ago. Not that many have forgotten.

The Gamecocks on Tuesday announced a home-and-home series with Miami in 2026 and 2027, rejuvenating the series for the first time in 40 years. The teams played each other in 1986 and 1987 before a brawl at the end of the last game caused USC to cancel any future consideration.

The Hurricanes won both of those games, but the Gamecocks won the last time they played each other. Steve Spurrier’s final bowl win at USC was in the 2014 Independence Bowl over the Hurricanes.

"We are excited about adding Miami as an opponent in 2026 and 2027," USC athletics director Ray Tanner said in a statement. "Coach (Will) Muschamp and I believe that our fans want to see great matchups with programs that are typically not on our schedule. I am hopeful that we will be able to announce additional opponents like Miami in the future."

Miami will visit Columbia on Sept. 5, 2026, and the Gamecocks will head to Miami for a game on Sept. 11, 2027.

Following a 20-16 loss to Miami in 1987, then-USC athletics director Bob Marcum called off any negotiations for more games with Miami. A fight in the fourth quarter of the 1987 game that began when Miami defensive lineman Daniel Stubbs tackled USC quarterback Todd Ellis well after the whistle and then lay on top of him, was the cause. 

USC teammates ran to Ellis’ aid, knocking Stubbs off, and a bench-clearing brawl erupted.

"I sat down with (coach) Joe Morrison and we decided if that's the type of football Miami wants to play, fine, but it is our privilege who we play and we concluded that South Carolina will not play Miami anymore,” Marcum told The Miami Sun-Sentinel.

Neither team was affiliated with a conference when they played in the 1980s. Miami is now a member of the ACC, and USC is in the SEC.

Follow David Cloninger on Twitter @DCPandC.

From Rock Hill, S.C., David Cloninger covers Gamecock sports. He will not rest until he owns every great film and song ever recorded.