USC FOOTBALL

Repetition adds to legacy

jkendall@thestate.comDecember 15, 2013 

Coach Steve Spurrier has few feats left to accomplish at USC.

GERRY MELENDEZ — gmelendez@thestate.com

An SEC championship and a BCS bowl game are out of the picture for this season, so the brass rings will have to wait.

That doesn’t mean Steve Spurrier can’t add to his list of accomplishments when No. 8 South Carolina faces No. 19 Wisconsin in the Capital One Bowl. The Gamecocks’ ninth-year coach has delighted in reaching milestones never before met in Columbia.

“I was telling my wife the other day, every time we win a game around here, it’s a record,” Spurrier said. “Everything is a record as long as we can keep going in the right direction. Let’s keep pushing.”

South Carolina has checked off so many “firsts” in the past four seasons that the task is getting harder. Now the milestones are measured in repetition.

“We have a chance to finish in the top 10 three straight years, that has never happened,” Spurrier said. “We’ve got all kinds of firsts still out there. They are just back-to-back firsts, we are getting into those, which is pretty good also.”

For instance, the Gamecocks have a chance to win bowl games in three consecutive seasons for the first time in school history with a victory in the Capital One Bowl. The game will be the first time the Gamecocks have faced Wisconsin.

“The biggest thing is obviously we’d like to be undefeated right now, but you look back at the last three years of winning at least 10 games in the toughest conference in America, I’m proud of this group,” senior quarterback Connor Shaw said.

Shaw is one of five scholarship seniors the Gamecocks will lose, along with juniors Jadeveon Clowney, Kelcy Quarles and Victor Hampton. That leaves the bulk of the roster returning to take another shot at those actual firsts — a conference championship and an elite bowl bid.

“This team achieved a lot for playing a bunch of guys who had not played that much,” Spurrier said. “We have a lot of players coming back next year. Hopefully, we will have another solid recruiting class and hopefully have another 10-win season or a little bit better next year.”

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