It was a conference call for the SEC on CBS, which is televising Saturday’s USC-Georgia game. So clearly, the CBS talent wanted to do its part to hype the network’s first SEC game of the year.
And color analyst Gary Danielson certainly did not hold back on the hyperbole, suggesting that USC’s game against the second-ranked Bulldogs would be the defining game of Steve Spurrier’s tenure in Columbia.
“I go on record that this is the game of the season for South Carolina. This may be the game of Steve Spurrier coaching era at South Carolina. He really needs this football game,” Danielson said.
To that end, Danielson said it would not surprise him if the Head Ball Coach does something funky to get the Gamecocks rolling after last week’s 24-17 loss at Vanderbilt.
“If you talk to Florida fans about Steve Spurrier’s history as a coach, he’s not one to go back and stress fundamentals in a game like this. He’s one to search for something to pull out of his hat,” Danielson said. “Florida fans probably recall the ’97 Florida State game where he rotated quarterbacks (Doug Johnson and Noah Brindise) as the greatest game he ever coached. I suspect that he may try to do something like that in this game to try to pull this game out.”
Does that mean Chris Smelley and Tommy Beecher will be rotating every other play? A running package for Stephen Garcia?
I don’t know. Danielson might be right, but the recent history of this series dictates that the defenses will determine the outcome.
So Spurrier might be cooking up something different. But I think ultimately it will be the scheme that Ellis Johnson devises to try to slow down Knowshon Moreno that will be most critical.