Josh Kendall

Steve Spurrier says 2018 Will Muschamp is ‘a dang offensive guru’

The original offensive “guru” says South Carolina may have college football’s most unlikely one now.

Former Gamecocks and Florida head coach Steve Spurrier said Saturday before the Gators game against the Gators that South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp is becoming an offensive head coach. Spurrier called Muschamp this week to discuss Saturday’s matchup.

“I said, ‘You’ve turned into a dang offensive guru,’” Spurrier told The State on Saturday as he waited for South Carolina’s team bus to arrive. “I said, ‘I’ll tell you what Will, football has turned into a game maybe you have to win 48-44, and if you can’t do it maybe you’ll be left behind.’ I think maybe he understands that a lot better than he did five, eight years ago.”

The Gamecocks beat Ole Miss 48-44 last week. They take on No. 19 Florida at noon at Steve Spurrier Field in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley is coming off his best game with the Gamecocks, and Spurrier has a theory about that as well.

“I think he’s really gotten better the last two games,” Spurrier said. “He’s been fantastic. I guess he had a little slump earlier in the year. Maybe (Michael) Scarnecchia playing well helped him. Sometimes as a quarterback you sit and watch the other guy play well and then you tell yourself, ‘Hey, I can do that, let’s go do it.’ I think when I played two quarterbacks occasionally that helped the guy you take out and let watch for a while.”

Muschamp coached Florida for four seasons before being fired following the 2014 season in large part because his offenses never gained any traction. Spurrier, meanwhile, made his name by modernizing SEC offense during his time with the Gators.

“You still have to play some defense, there is no doubt about that, but every now and then you have to outscore the other guy,” Spurrier said. “You can’t just beat them 17-14. These teams are spread out, they are throwing the ball over the place, which is sort of what we were doing first I guess.”

Spurrier declined to predict the winner of Saturday’s game. He and wife Jerri waited under the stadium Saturday to visit with South Carolina coaches, players and staff members.

“I think it’s going to be a heck of a game,” Spurrier said. “Obviously, I pull for the Gators now. I pull for South Carolina in every game except for this one. If Florida’s offense doesn’t score some points, South Carolina could easily win the game. We will see if the Gators can score points.”