One day after expressing frustration with the officiating in his team’s loss to Missouri, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier was not backing down Sunday.
Spurrier called SEC head of officials Steve Shaw on Sunday to discuss his concerns, but Shaw did not answer and hadn’t returned Spurrier’s call as of 2 p.m. Sunday. Spurrier left Shaw a voice mail message, he said.
“Nothing ever really happens too much to make referees accountable except maybe at the end of the year some of them are not rehired,” Spurrier said. “They are kind of told to retire if they have too many bad calls.”
Spurrier will ask the SEC to review the calls he felt were questionable. He was still bothered Sunday by a first half play in which Missouri quarterback Drew Lock was ruled down at the 1-yard line rather than flagged for intentional grounding from the end zone, which would have been a safety.
“Their quarterback was clearly in the end zone,” Spurrier said. “Everybody could see that. I just wish the head referee would have come talk to me. He would not come talk to me. I don’t know how they explained it. We may never know how he explained it.”
LSU running back Leonard Fournette became the first back in SEC history to rush for more than 200 yards in three consecutive games when he rushed for 233 yards against Eastern Michigan on Saturday.
“He’s a big, strong, fast back, probably the best in the country,” Spurrier said. “But if you can get everybody up there, you can tackle him.”
South Carolina needs to win four more games to become bowl eligible. They are likely to be favored in only two more games the rest of the season, against Vanderbilt and The Citadel.
“That would be good for us if we could win six or seven games or so forth,” Spurrier said. “That would be pretty good for our team. The game yesterday was winnable. It was winnable, but we had three turnovers. They had none. We had opportunities, and we didn’t do it.
“We have to go one game at a time. Obviously, we need to play a lot better and we plan on doing that.”
Sophomore quarterback Connor Mitch, who started the first two games before separating his shoulder against Kentucky, might be able to return to the lineup “in two or three weeks,” Spurrier said.
After converting 5 of 13 third-down chances Saturday, the Gamecocks are 11th in the SEC in third-down conversion at 36.23 percent. The Gamecocks also are 11th in third down conversions allowed (37.29 percent). Missouri was 9-of-16 on third downs Saturday. … The Tigers held the ball for 10:25 of the fourth quarter. … After recording 12 tackles against the Tigers, linebacker Skai Moore is second in the SEC in stops with 52. He trails only Missouri linebacker Kentrell Brothers (59).