South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier met with the media Tuesday afternoon to preview Saturday's SEC road game at Florida. The Gamecocks and Gators will kick off at 3:30 p.m. on CBS.
We say we've got three in a row. This is the third one, and hopefully four in a row of sell out crowds, loud stadiums, full as it can be. Hopefully the next one will be the same way also. Look forward to going down the `The Swamp' and playing the Gators seeing what happens. They're having an excellent year. They're ranked number two or three in the country in a couple of polls. They've really played well. They're playing what you call winning football - outstanding defense and special team play. They had some big special team plays that helped them beat Vanderbilt last week. Quarterback running and good solid defense. We need to play well. We need to better than last week. Although, I don't think it's embarrassing to lose a two point game at LSU. We had our chances on a few plays here at there. They outplayed us, they outrushed us, they made a bunch of third downs. Our guys did a super job of keeping them out of the end zone. Hopefully that will continue. Keeping guys out of the end zone and making them kick field goals always gives you a chance. It didn't work out last week and if we're going to win the division, we still have to beat Florida to have a shot to do it. All of our goals are still out there. We're going to try to play better and try to get the ball to Marcus Lattimore more than last week. We need to block a lot better than we did last game. Other than that we should be pretty pleased about where we are going into the eighth game of the season. We'll see if we can't make something special happen.
Connor Shaw's play at LSU.
Connor had a tough night, a difficult night. Our offensive line had a difficult, tough night. Some of those o-linemen didn't perform as we'd hoped. Bruce Ellington and Ace Sanders played super. Marcus (Lattimore) made two of the best three-yard runs I think I've ever seen a guy make. His touchdown run, five guys had him cornered up and he got by all of them and made it in the end zone. On the 4 and 2, they hit him behind the line, like they did about every time he got it, and he made that one for us. We've got to block better. Maybe change something up to give our linemen a little bit better chance. Connor could have thrown the ball more than he did. He took off running way too soon on several plays. We need to get him looking down field longer before he takes off. He's been very successful getting out of the pocket, but the other night ran too quickly several times.
Feelings about returning to Florida.
Florida is always going to be my school. I love Florida. My wife, my daughter and even Steve (Spurrier) Jr. got a graduate degree from there. We're Gators, but we're Gamecocks now. When my coaching days are over, I'll be more of a Gator then. I'm a Gamecock now and this is our team. I hope the Gators finish second in the East this year, that would be a good finish for them. hope we finish first. They're having a very good year. I like Will Muschamp, Jeremy Foley and the guys down there. We're still good friends. Healthy competition.
On beating Florida, Georgia and Tennessee in the same year.
We've definitely been better against our Eastern Division foes than the Western side guys. Again, if we're going to win our division, as we hope to do, this is a crucial game. We'll go down there and be ready to give it our best shot. Hopefully we'll play with more fire and energy from a lot of our guys than the last time we played.
Injuries from the LSU game.
Marcus was running around okay last night. The other three guys are all defensive tackles. We're a little banged up there. (Byron) Jerideau and J.T. Surratt have ankles. (Kelcy) Quarles has a sprained shoulder. We'll see how it goes during the week, if not, we'll have some youngsters in there. Phillip Dukes, Gerald Dixon will be in there.
If the experience of last week will help this week.
I hope so. it was a loud one. Our mental process was probably worse than anything the last game. Thinking our way though and playing with energy and passion. It was a two-point game. Who knows if, Damiere Byrd catches that ball or if we throw one here or there that we didn't hit, who knows? They controlled the line of scrimmages. Their linemen were big and strong. We didn't tackle our best, but we kept them out of the end zone except for a couple of times there.
Feelings about South Carolina after retirement.
When I get through coaching I'll be Duke, Florida and South Carolina. I'll have feelings for all three schools. I still have feelings for Duke, a lot of feelings. I wouldn't be coaching today if it weren't for Duke University. They hired me twice when I didn't have a job. I owe my entire coaching career to Duke University and the people up there. I always pull for those guys. I hope when my days are over to keep a condo here. I hope to do that in four or five years. Keep some connections up here. I certainly hope to.
Importance of the game on Saturday
It's an important game in the SEC. We're not going to fold it up if it doesn't work out. We're looking forward to seeing if we can beat these guys. We know the importance of it. It's a long season. We have goals other than winning the Eastern Division, so if we're out of it, we'll go to the next goal. Right now, we're trying to win the Eastern Division. If we go on a three game winning streak, we're going to win it. We've got the other two guys at home and we've been pretty good at home. It's a key game for us.