Spurrier: 'Hurl insults, just don't hurl bottles'
Published: Wednesday, September 7, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, September 7, 2005 at 3:18 a.m.
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier, who earned a reputation for chewing on the ears of his SEC competition while at Florida, is a bit more mellow after a failed NFL stint with the Washington Redskins.
But while he tosses fewer verbal hand grenades these days, he still can generate some entertaining copy with his anecdotes and occasional zingers, as The Atlanta Journal-Constitution found while covering the Gamecocks' pre-Georgia news conference Tuesday at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C. Following are some excerpts from that session:
Q: Last time you took a team to Athens, you won 52-17. Do you expect the Bulldogs to be looking for revenge?
A: Oh, the time I went there, they weren't near the team they are now. The fans left about the third quarter. So it's a different environment, a completely different team, a different head coach. The fans' enthusiasm is probably about 10 times greater than it was back in that day.
Q: What do you think about going back to a place where they really don't like you?
A: I think they dislike Florida, to tell you the truth, a lot more than me. ... A few fans might want to yell some insults at me, which is fine. I've heard all that before. Hurl insults, just don't hurl bottles, and I'll be fine.
Q: Have you ever been a 17-point underdog to anybody?
A: I don't know. Probably when (the Redskins) played the Eagles a few times. I don't know if was that high then. But I didn't know we were favored by that much last week. Based on how they played and the way we played, that's probably where it should be.
Q: Were you impressed with Georgia in its win over Boise State?
A: Yeah, they had a very impressive showing. The team speed has always been there. Their defense certainly was outstanding, as their offense was. Of course, Boise turned it over six times. ... But Georgia, they're a top team. I don't need to pump them up. In the old days, they'd always pump up the Gators, and I didn't think that was the thing coaches should do. So I'm not going to try to pump them up. They know they've got a good team, and we think we've got a pretty good team, too, that has yet to show it.
Q: You go a ways back with Georgia coach Mark Richt, who was offensive coordinator at Florida State when it played the Gators every year. What is your relationship like with him?
A: He was a little different than a lot of the Seminoles. Certainly he has proven to be an outstanding head coach there at Georgia. I remember one time when I was coaching at Florida, he told me the Virginia and Georgia jobs were coming open, and he asked me which one did I think was better. I said, ''Well, that Virginia job is a great one. You ought to go after that.'' ... Certainly, Georgia is one of the best jobs in the country. And we've got one of the best, too. We've just got to work it up a level.
Q: Your thoughts on Georgia quarterback D.J. Shockley?
A: Obviously he had an excellent day. They've already got him up for the Heisman there. If Georgia has a big year, he'll certainly be a candidate. Hopefully we can slow him down a little bit. He can run and he can pass, and that's a tough combination for a defense.
"I think (Georgia fans) dislike Florida, to tell you the truth, a lot more than me."
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