|Spurrier: Gamecocks are staying positive despite 3 straight losses|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 06 November 2007 12:12|
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier knew when his Gamecocks were ranked No. 6 they were probably overrated.|
``When we were 6-1, you guys heard me talking, I wasn't sitting on the table here telling you how great we were,'' Spurrier said Tuesday during his weekly news conference. ``It sort of just all caught up to us against some good teams.''
Things don't get any easier Saturday night when South Carolina (6-4, 3-4 Southeastern Conference) hosts No. 17 Florida (6-3, 4-3). Spurrier will look to avoid the second four-game losing streak of his more than 16 years as a college coach.
Spurrier has been through tough times before - he lost 10 of 12 in his second and final season with the Washington Redskins. The last time one of Spurrier's college teams dropped four straight was 1987 at Duke - his first year as head coach.
``I'm not going to quit if that's what happens,'' said Spurrier, who led Florida to a national title in 1996. ``I'm not accustomed to it but I also understand where we are and what the other team looks like.''
Florida quarterback Tim Tebow tops the SEC in total offense with 314 yards per game.
``He's made some unbelievable plays when they're not open and guys hanging all over him and this, that and the other,'' Spurrier said of the sophomore. ``So, he's, sort of, the quarterback of the future. ... Or the quarterback of today. I should say that - today.''
The head ball coach hopes he has a quarterback like Tebow in the future. Highly touted recruit and freshman Stephen Garcia, who has a similar build, will practice on the scout team this week, wearing Tebow's No. 15.
``To stop that size of a quarterback and that athletic ability, we need all 11 people around the ball,'' Cody Wells, a 5-foot-11, 218-pound linebacker, said of the 230-pound Tebow. ``He's about the size of a linebacker, a lot more athletic.''
Spurrier said the Gamecocks are staying positive.
``Somebody asked me the other day, are you discouraged? No, I'm not discouraged. I said, 'Hey, our big recruiting class was last year, not three years ago.''
The Gamecocks trail in the series 20-4-3 but do have at least a bit of recent history on their side. Spurrier led South Carolina to a 30-22 win at Williams-Brice Stadium in his first year with the Gamecocks. Spurrier dominated the Gamecocks while at Florida, going a perfect 10-0.
The only time Spurrier has been on the losing side in a South Carolina-Florida matchup was last year, when the Gators won 17-16 on Jarvis Moss' blocked field goal as time expired.
Spurrier facing his old team is sort of old news - at least to Spurrier.
``The story line is over, really. I've been here three years now,'' he said. ``It'd be neat to beat them if we could. We haven't beat them much in the history of our school but really, what we need to concern ourselves with, is our guys playing the best we can.''
South Carolina has played dismally over the past three weeks, outscored 66-16 in the first half. While the offense played poorly in a 17-6 home loss to Vanderbilt, the defense gave up 487 yards rushing to Arkansas' Darren McFadden and Felix Jones, an NCAA record for most combined rushing yards by teammates in a single game. South Carolina lost 48-36.
``I don't know if Arkansas was that great a running team or we're that bad,'' Spurrier said. ``I guess we're going to find out as we finish the season here.''
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