South Carolina is coming off one of its biggest wins in school history and another big game is on the horizon, but Gamecocks' head coach was focusing Sunday on what lies directly ahead of his team.
That’s Troy. The No. 17 Gamecocks, who trounced Florida 36-14 on Saturday, face Troy at 12:21 p.m. on Saturday in Williams-Brice Stadium. Asked Sunday if his team might overlook the Trojans, Spurrier replied, “I hope not, I hope not.”
“One of our goals was to win eight and nine games, and they all count the same as far as number of wins,” he said. “We’d be fools not to go play the best we can this week and try to beat these guys.
South Carolina won its seventh game of the season against the Gators.
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“We are excited about the way our guys played last night,” Spurrier said. “Really proud of the way they came to The Swamp, one of the real big stages of college football and the way we competed. It was fun to watch our guys play and hopefully we can continue playing at that level.”
The Gamecocks have won more than eight games in a season twice in their history.
“Hopefully our guys will really want to play,” Spurrier said. “They came to the ballpark ready to play last night, that’s for sure. We need to get in the habit of doing that. We still haven’t learned that habit of really playing well each week.”
Troy (5-4) lost 52-35 Saturday to Florida International. FIU had 448 rushing yards in the game, a school record.
In the loss, Shawn Southward scored three touchdowns for Troy and Corey Robinson had 299 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions on 28-for-47 passing.
"We do have a shot at winning the SEC. It will be difficult beating Auburn, but we do have a chance," Spurrier said. "But this week is to Troy week, and after that it's the Clemson week, so that one [Auburn] is down the road a little bit."
There are no set plans, he said, to rest starters against Troy.
"We don't go into any game thinking we're going to clobber somebody," Spurrier said. "It just doesn't ever quite work out that way. Any game we're fortunate enough to get ahead, then obviously you use all your players. But we don't anticipate getting way ahead. We very seldom every do that."
Beating the big four
Spurrier is pleased with winning the SEC East. Even more impressive, he says, were some of the SEC wins along the way.
Four of South Carolina's five SEC wins were against perennial powers Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee.
"That was probably just a dream 10 years ago, six years ago. But it's reality now," Spurrier said. "Once your horizons are expanded, that's where you've got to stay. You don't want to go backward."
Welcome home, Gamecocks
As many as 3,000 fans braved the cold and the clock Sunday morning to greet the team as it returned to Williams-Brice Stadium.
"That was a nice turnout for 2/2:30 in the morning," Spurrier said. "That's indicative of our fans. When I took the job, I said South Carolina, we've got as good of fans as anywhere. They've paid their dues over the years."
Spurrier addressed the crowd, followed by brief words from team captains Patrick DiMarco, Cliff Matthews, Ladi Adjiboye and Spencer Lanning.
"We probably celebrated a little bit more maybe than most teams winning their division," Spurrier said. "We probably needed to celebrate a little bit. But we do have to put it behind us come Monday afternoon and start getting ready for Troy."
Spurrier said the team came out of the Florida game injury-free.
Marcus Lattimore, whose knee was hurt against Arkansas, was OK after 40 carries and 212 yards rushing.
"Marcus felt well after all those carries," Spurrier said.
Offensive lineman Jarriel King's status will be evaluated during the week. King missed Saturday's game after suffering a concussion against Arkansas.