Steve Spurrier wants to win every game. That’s why every game is important.
He learned not to put any before another in 2013.
“Last year, I made a special effort to tell the guys I really wanted to beat Georgia and Tennessee. Guess what? That’s the only two we lost to,” Spurrier said on Thursday during his call-in show. “It doesn’t matter how much you talk about getting fired up for a particular team, it’s how your guys get ready to go play. And play the game.”
Of course South Carolina has a longtime archrival in Clemson. Georgia has become a tremendous rival. When the Gamecocks are doing well, as they have for the past three years, everybody on the schedule becomes the same – a hurdle to get over in order to win an SEC championship.
It’s why the only game this year that matters to Spurrier right now is Texas A&M. When it’s over – and only then – he’ll think about East Carolina.
“I’m from Tennessee. I asked the guys, ‘Anybody here from Tennessee?’ Nobody raised their hand,” Spurrier said. “I’m the only guy on the team from Tennessee. I said, ‘I’d really like to beat these guys.’ We played terribly. That was our worst game.
“I treat every game the same anyway. I know historically around here, everybody says, ‘Let’s get fired up for Clemson.’ We treat Clemson just like East Carolina, or any other team. We really do.”
Never mess with a winning streak
Spurrier announced that the Gamecocks will wear their all-garnet uniforms for the A&M game after seniors Dylan Thompson and Brison Williams requested them. The uniforms have been very good to USC and Spurrier said that, befitting the nickname of “big-game garnet,” the Gamecocks will wear them for every SEC game.
“East Carolina, we’ll probably wear white pants,” Spurrier said.
Like it has in recent years, USC will have game-by-game captains until mid-season and then vote on permanent captains. The Gamecocks’ four captains for A&M will be Thompson, Williams, A.J. Cann and J.T. Surratt.
Spurrier again said after practice on Wednesday that the backup quarterback slot is still to be decided. Perry Orth and Connor Mitch continue to battle, with Spurrier saying that both are doing well. He and G.A. Mangus are always quick to point out that the No. 2 QB is only one play away from entering the game, whether they’re walk-ons (like Orth) or scholarship players.
“Coach Mangus does a good job of telling us not to pay attention to the media, just coming out every day and working hard,” Orth said at Media Day. “There’s goals out there, personal goals that you still want to accomplish. Just keep your head down and get ready for the new practice every single day.”
Spurrier opened his call-in show on Thursday by talking about Texas A&M’s tradition of “The 12th Man.” He hoped that USC’s fans would represent the Gamecocks the same way.
“They have the 12th Man, like the Seattle Seahawks do,” Spurrier said. “I got a feeling the Gamecocks are going to show Texas A&M what loud and noise really is. We’re going to need you.”
The Gamecocks will practice at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. It is closed to the public.