THURSDAY SPORTS: Football season arrives; Clemson gears up for ‘Gameday’; WGOG readies for Furman

*College Football is here! The 6th-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks and Heisman-favorite Jadeveon Clowney open play Thursday at 6:00 PM hosting the North Carolina Tarheels from the ACC. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN.

*Clemson Athletics has extended an invitation to all Tiger fans to be at Bowman Field on Saturday, August 31 for ESPN College GameDay. ESPN’s iconic football pregame show will broadcast live from Bowman Field from 9 AM to 1 PM. Fan access to Bowman Field will be allowed beginning at 6:00 AM on Saturday. It is important to note that fans will not be able to camp overnight on Bowman.

*The Coach Bruce Fowler Call-In Show will kick off its third season on Thursday, from 6:30-7:30 at the Bimini Oyster Bar and Seafood Grille, 100 Villa Road in Greenville. The show will again be co-hosted by “The Voice of the Paladins,” Dan Scott and will  be heard on the 96.3 WGOG, the flagship station for Furman sports.

*Furman football opens the 2013 football season this Saturday when the Paladins make the short trip to Boiling Springs, N.C., to take on the Gardner-Webb Bulldogs. Kickoff for the contest at Spangler Stadium is set for 6:00 p.m. Coverage on WGOG begins with the tailgate show at 5:00 PM.

*Johnny Manziel has been suspended for the first half of Texas A&M’s opening game against Rice on Saturday  for what the school called an inadvertent violation of NCAA rules by signing autographs. The school issued a statement Wednesday saying the NCAA agreed to reinstate the Heisman Trophy winner after he sits out the half-game.

*In the majors on Wednesday, Chris Johnson singled to left with two outs in the ninth inning for his first career walk-off hit and the Atlanta Braves won again at home, beating the Cleveland Indians 3-2. The series wraps up Thursday at 7:00 PM.

*In the NFL, Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank said he hopes the team settles on a site for its news $1 billion, retractable roof stadium in the next two weeks.