The University of North Carolina Tar Heels will face the University of South Carolina Gamecocks in the 2021 Duke’s Mayo Bowl, it was announced today by the Charlotte Sports Foundation, owner and operator of the game. Scheduled for Thursday, December 30th at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. with an 11:30 a.m. kickoff, it will be broadcast nationally on ESPN. North Carolina is designated the away team and South Carolina is designated the home team.
The 2021 Duke’s Mayo Bowl marks the 20th Anniversary of the first bowl game to call the Carolinas home. The game has welcomed 944,065 fans to Charlotte since its inception, reached over 57 million television households, and produced an economic impact of over $280 million to the city and the surrounding region. The 2017 contest where Wake Forest defeated Texas A&M, 55-52, was selected by the Football Bowl Association 150th Anniversary Committee as the 16th greatest bowl game in college football history.
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“We are delighted to welcome the University of North Carolina and University of South Carolina to the 2021 Duke’s Mayo Bowl,” said Executive Director Danny Morrison. “This year’s game is very special for the Charlotte Sports Foundation. It marks the 20th anniversary of the game and is the second year overall, and first welcoming fans, with our partner Duke’s Mayonnaise. And we are delighted to feature the first ever bowl matchup between the schools. Both have strong, dedicated fan bases that have supported the teams all season. We look forward to hosting the Tar Heels and Gamecocks in Charlotte.”
This is the second year with Carolinas-founded Duke’s Mayonnaise as the title sponsor. The partnership with Duke’s Mayonnaise, a staple in southern recipes for over 100 years, was announced last summer.
“We are very excited to welcome North Carolina and South Carolina to the Duke’s Mayo Bowl,” said Joe Tuza, President of Condiments at Sauer Brands, owners of Duke’s Mayo. “After great seasons by both teams, this thrilling matchup will help Duke’s Mayo reach our goal of increasing our brand recognition throughout the country. But even more importantly, the game will provide an economic boost to the region, especially the hospitality and food service industries that continues to need support.”
This will be the 59th meeting between the two schools on the football field, and the first time playing each other in a bowl game. North Carolina leads the series 35-19-4. They have faced off in Charlotte twice to start the season, with the two games decided by a total of eight points. South Carolina won, 17-13, in 2015 while North Carolina won, 24-20, in 2019.
North Carolina is making its fifth appearance in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl, and first since 2013. They are 1-3 in the bowl, losing to Boston College in 2004, West Virginia in 2008 and Pittsburgh in 2009 while beating Cincinnati in 2013. They are 4-5 overall at Bank of America Stadium.
The Tar Heels finished the season with an 6-6 overall record, 3-5 in the ACC. They defeated then #9 Wake Forest 58-55 and took ACC Champion Pittsburgh to overtime in back-to-back games. Three of their losses were to Top 25-ranked opponents (Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, NC State).
South Carolina will be making its second appearance in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl, and first since a 2018 loss to Virginia. It has played in Charlotte for three regular season games. USC has a 3-2 record at Bank of America Stadium after beating East Carolina in 2011, UNC in 2015 and NC State in 2017, before losses to Virginia in 2018 and UNC in 2019.
The Gamecocks finished the season with a 6-6 overall record, 3-5 in the SEC. Three of their losses were to Top 25-ranked opponents (Georgia, Texas A&M, Clemson). They have won five of their last seven bowl appearances.