Steve Spurrier addressed a reeling group of Gamecocks in the locker room after Saturday night’s 45-42 overtime loss to Tennessee.
“Really, I was numb,” senior spur Sharrod Golightly said. “I really wasn’t too much listening, but it hurt. This one hurt.”
That’s where most Gamecocks find themselves this morning – numb, hurting, about ready to tune out this team. South Carolina won 11 games each of the past three seasons. The best it can do now is 8-5 overall and 3-5 in the SEC. With a seemingly rejuvenated Florida and Clemson on the road left to play, bowl eligibility no longer seems like a lock.
“You just have to try to push guys and keep them motivated as good as you can,” senior quarterback Dylan Thompson said. “I’m not going to sit here and say everybody is happy right now. That would be a lie.”
It would be worrying if they were. South Carolina gained 620 yards but gave up 645; rallied from a halftime deficit but coughed up a 14-point lead in the final two minutes, and wore black jerseys and black pants for motivation but left again with black eyes.
“We just have to move forward,” Golightly said. “We have to make the best of these last three, four games three games.”
With eyes still glazed by shock, the Gamecocks who spoke after the game insisted as strongly as they seemed to have the strength to (which is to say, not too emphatically) that the season did not end Saturday night, that no locker room division would turn this ugly season into an awful one.
“We still go out there and give our all,” junior running back Brandon Wilds said. “We all love this game.”
It’s getting harder for Gamecock fans, though.