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Spurrier ready for North Carolina

By PETE IACOBELLI
AP Sports Writer

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Steve Spurrier still loves to beat North Carolina. He'll get another chance when the sixth-ranked Gamecocks open the season against the Tar Heels Thursday night.

"This is a big game," he said Sunday. "We're looking forward to it."

Spurrier got his college football coaching start at Duke in 1987 and won all three meetings with rival North Carolina before moving on to become Florida's head coach. Spurrier has always been grateful that Duke gave him the chance to coach and said Sunday that it's still special when he faces the Tar Heels.

Spurrier has won 20 straight openers, including all eight since joining the Gamecocks. If Spurrier continues the streak, count on All-American defensive end Jadeveon Clowney to play a big role.

Spurrier says Clowney has had a strong camp and is ready to go.

Sunday Spurrier addressed the quarterback situation. Connor Shaw will start, but it's possible Dylan Thompson could see as much playing time as he did last season.

"It worked out almost perfectly for the Outback Bowl, how they both played" said Spurrier. "They both played very well.  We don't want it to go like that throughout the year.  But I don't know if its going to to like that Thursday night or not."

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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