After another game in which the offense failed to score 20 points, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier defended the Gamecocks’ play-calling system Sunday during his teleconference with reporters.
A day after Gamecocks tight end Weslye Saunders referred to receivers coach Steve Spurrier Jr. as the main play-caller, Spurrier said he is still calling most of the plays, including the ill-fated fade route to Alshon Jeffery that Arkansas picked off to change momentum in the Hogs’ 33-16 win.
Spurrier Sr. did not put a percentage on the number of plays he calls. The process starts in the press box with Spurrier Jr., who relays a call down to the field, where quarterbacks coach G.A. Mangus signals it in.
Sometimes Spurrier Sr. overrules it. Sometimes offensive line coach Eric Wolford suggests a play.
Bottom line: When USC averages 12 points a game, as it has over the past four games, the system is going to come under question.
“I’m still in charge of the play-calling. I don’t call all of them like I used to. But we have a system here that’s not bad,” Spurrier said. “A lot of times our offensive line coach, he will call the goal line run – run this or run that, or third-and-1 – he’ll yell that and we send it in.
“There’s all kind of ways to call plays. But ultimately, I’m the head coach and if there’s an offensive coordinator title, I got it. So we need to do better. We need to block better and we need to score more points than we’ve been scoring.”
If fans were looking for Spurrier to come out and say he was taking over the play-calling completely, forget it. That would amount to a public demotion of his son, and unlike Lou Holtz, Spurrier is not going to do that.
The Spurriers have danced around the nepotism issue delicately during their five seasons. That’s why Spurrier has been so evasive on the topic of play-calling.
He says he’s calling most of them. Others close to the program say Spurrier Jr., as Saunders suggested, is the primary play-caller.
Regardless, until it improves, Spurrier can expect more grumbling from the fans.
“It can go either way,” Spurrier said of a father-son coaching relationship. “Depends on if you’re winning or losing and how that particular phase is playing.”