Spurrier overreacted after UGA loss

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The HBC needs a hug.

He’s whining again.

I’m not a fan of knee-jerk reactions, especially when Steve Spurrier delivers the doom-and-gloom comments after a road loss to the 11th-ranked team in the country that’s coming off consecutive SEC East titles.

“We’re worried about going to a bowl game right now,” Spurrier said after Saturday’s loss in Athens. “That’s what we need to worry about — winning seven games, or eight games if we can. That’s what we need to do. We need to try to beat Vandy this week. That’s what we need to worry about.

“We’ll let all that talk (of conference championships) go to those other guys right now. We have zero conference wins, and the way we performed yesterday, it doesn’t look real pretty for us unless we change our ways around here.”

Is Spurrier seriously worried about winning seven games after back-to-back 11-win seasons? Does he actually consider the Gamecocks out of the division race after one loss?

Settle down and stand behind your team, Steve — all is not lost if a few things are straightened out defensively.

First, the facts.

South Carolina is a good football team that struggles to beat other good football teams away from Williams-Brice Stadium. The Gamecocks’ last three losses have come against Georgia, Florida and LSU, but the leader of the program is griping that his team is “just not very good.”

There’s no need to throw in the towel the second week of September. That kind of attitude leads to a crippling tailspin. (See, Arkansas 2012.)

Spurrier should try taking positives away from the Gamecocks’ first loss to Georgia in four seasons. A few plays here and there decided the game. Would the HBC be so quick to place blame if not for his puzzling 4th-and-goal call from inside the Georgia 1? Would South Carolina’s defensive staff have to answer the onslaught of questions if T.J. Gurley hadn’t blown a coverage resulting in an 85-yard touchdown?

Oftentimes fans, not coaches, overreact to the result of a single game. But when head coaches do, that’s a major problem.

Related: The SEC Report Week 2

Anyone that follows South Carolina football would admit Saturday’s performance was the best the Gamecocks have looked on offense in a road setting in a long time, a couple of years even. Outside of a lost fumble early in the third quarter that was upheld by video review, quarterback Connor Shaw made all the right throws from inside and outside the pocket and even — wait for it — went through his progressions, something long labeled as a weakness.

Coupled with Mike Davis’ big plays on the ground, South Carolina’s senior quarterback kept his team in the game when the other side of the football didn’t hold up its end of the bargain.

Then, there’s this: Is a top-rated SEC defense allowed to have a bad game against arguably the nation’s top quarterback-tailback tandem? Can a secondary goof when playing an elite program with its back against the wall following a season-opening loss?

South Carolina failed in its quest to retain the Eastern Division driver’s seat, but how has that worked out for the Gamecocks lately? Losing at Georgia means Jadeveon Clowney and the Gamecocks can go out and play without the pressure of an unbeaten regular season and the constant scrutiny of being an SEC target in the Top 5.

Meanwhile, Georgia knows a slip-up or two could very well hand South Carolina its ticket to Atlanta — something the Gamecocks gift-wrapped for Mark Richt in 2012 and 2011.

South Carolina’s preseason goals are still within reach, but you wouldn’t know it listening to Spurrier’s defeatist mentality.

Let’s hope his players don’t have the same mindset.

Photo Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

COMMENTS

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  • He doesn’t believe that…he’s just trying to light a fire under his boys. Hell…He did it to Garcia the entire 8 years he was there haha.

  • The HBC has brought this team to entire new heights never known before he arrived. As a journalist you should be reporting the facts. Your opinions, while not shared by many Gamecock fans, are way out of line. How ’bout going back to the other Carolina where you belong or report without disparaging our great coach.

  • Let’s see how you play against Vandy before we act like South Carolina is still fine and dandy.

  • After watching South Carolina’s defense perform against North Carolina in the opening game, I was worried. Seeing them this weekend made me realize my worries were legit. If things don’t get better with our defense, we aren’t going to get more than 7 or 8 wins this year. Georgia held the ball the last 8 1/2 minutes of the game and from their own 1 yard line. It wasn’t just one or two plays that took us out of the game, our defensive line just got beat, plain and simple. It also doesn’t help seeing our defense coaches out there squabbling like a bunch of kindergartners. Lead the team or get off the field and fight it out where the team and the whole world can’t see you! Very embarrassing as a Carolina alumni and loyal fan.

    • Remember though, they were going up against one of the best QB’s in the country and the best back in college football (said so by herbstreit)

  • Some football readers might like to dismiss all but one or two contenders from the race. South Carolina has to go to Missouri, and South Carolina lost the last neutral site game to Missouri, much less at the Zou. If you watched Vanderbilt and Ole Miss you should have seen two teams that could beat South Carolina on any given day. Tennessee is getting better every week. South Carolina does not have the offense yet to punch holes in Florida either. The East race is up for grabs, who wants it?

    • On point, Wolfman. Vandy, Tenn, and UF can ALL give UGA fits, as well (not to mention UGA playing LSU). Missouri sneaking up on UGA isn’t out of the question, either. It’s a long, long way to go for all of the SEC East teams.

    • I think Carolina’s offense is fine. And the last neutral game against Mizzou you reference? You mean the one that happened 10 years ago in the bowl game? How relevant.

  • I’m sorry, but you guys got it wrong in this article as well as its title. This wasn’t a knee-jerk reaction or whining. It was a legendary coach shooting straight and narrowing the focus as this new weekend approaches.

    No one ever seems to pay attention when he, year after year after year, shows great respect in the press for other teams as well as his own, acknowledging true merit in his players wherever found. Even in the things he has said publicly since becoming the HC at SC, too often they’re totally misrepresented as being bad or wrong in some way. He’s usually just saying what we were ALL thinking, just as in his comment Saturday about “half-game suspensions” (LOL). He doesn’t say things out of line. They’re not just accurate, they’re pertinent.

    He shot straight last year when he said he wished he could play UGA earlier in the season (in 2012) as UGA would usually have suspensions stemming from summer. That was not only a nod to UGA, saying it would help SC win if some of our players were suspended, but he also was pointing out what was becoming a crazy problem here for a while. He was severely criticized for that, yet it was true, as well as what we were all thinking. It was a problem that was becoming downright ridiculous at UGA, over YEARS of happening every single summer. That has FINALLY ended this year, thankfully, almost completely.

    Same thing when he talked about our schedule being easier vs theirs last year. Totally true, and it DID get us into the SEC Championship game, and it DID keep SC from it. It was straight talk that was dead-center accurate, not to mention prophetic. Not prophetic because of some astral seeing ability, but because he could see clearly the exact obstacles, as well as the opportunities, all around him and his players. This is one thing he’s always been great at. Seeing clearly.

    The Ole Head Ball Coach (and BTW, get it right guys, it’s not The Ole Ball Coach) knows what he’s talking about, if you would all just SHUT the F Up and LISTEN to what he’s saying. He’s a realist, he’s incredibly experienced, he’s proven in his working miracles with two flailing SEC programs, he’s gifted at assessing situations, and knows that, after that whipping by UGA (whom he gave GREAT credit to, in his post-game press conference, NO whining), at this exact point in time, with the next SEC game less than a week away, there AIN’T no talk about anything but The Next Game. Ya gotta get back on track FIRST, and the man knows it, and he’s givin’ ya pearls here. Not knee jerks! THIS is no time for SC to be jabberin’ about SEC Championships or anything like that. And this is a knee-jerk reaction of an idea at this point, to just concentrate on the game at hand? Hardly. YOU know this.

    BTW, writers: KNOW what you’re writing about before you go running down one of the best college coaches the game has ever known, with flippant dismissal about not standing behind his team. Even in the face of this painful loss, the man sat there, after giving Georgia glowing reviews on its game, following with a very enthusiastic rundown of the key SC players who he thought did a great job, whether they won or not, comparing them and their performance Saturday to some of the best he’s ever coached. That’s the true mark of a good leader, in the face of, and in the press conference immediately after, such a damaging (to SC’s hopes of a title this year) loss.

    And his praise of his home team was not just empty platitudes. He gave specific examples for specific players, with numbers, in what he thought were great performances by his players. This is with the echoes of the final horn of this stinging game still in the air. I’m telling ya, the man, besides being human and expressive, is totally respectful of other teams, as well as his own, in ADDITION to being a serious taskmaster, and a coach with integrity. Other top coaches have some of those traits, but SCANT few have all of ‘em. And he’s been consistently that way, at LEAST, in the almost-decade in which he’s been the head coach there at South Carolina. By virtue of that, he deserves a far less biased and slanted approach to covering his public statements.

    He even gave a nice, positive shout-out to our man Vince Dooley, in that press conference right after the game. My family has been going to UGA games since the first day Sanford opened, and I’ve personally been going since the early 1960′s. As for his conduct before and after this game, I could not have been more impressed with the whole way Steve Spurrier conducted himself, and I welcome The Ole Head Ball Coach back into Sanford Stadium anytime. He’s one of the good ones. Give him some credit.

    Here’s the link to the postgame conference this past Saturday: WATCH IT and learn. This coach is one of the GOOD ONES. It is a stellar showing by a coach who, immediately before stepping in front of the cameras, just saw most of his hopes for the season whipped away by a lonnng-time rival, in a brutal loss.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOvZ4AbSksE

    • Someone hire this guy to write. Well written, factual, and knocks it out of the park. And like the poster down below, what’s he supposed to say? Also, he’s whining? Needs a hug? Sounds like this article is a shining example of overreacting. Or maybe you just need a cuter intro. Oh, the ironing!

  • Spurrier has always had a negative outlook after his team loses. Is he hyper-critical? Yes, but I wouldn’t call it a defeatist mentality. It isn’t like he isn’t going to go out and coach his team the best he knows how. At the same time, I can’t say I blame you or any other Gamecock fan for being rubbed the wrong way by his words. You want a coach to be positive, especially after a loss, but you have Steve Spurrier and that ain’t gonna happen. I’m surprised you haven’t learned that by now.

  • What’s he supposed to say to his boys? “Oh, don’t worry about playing games guys. We’re South Carolina, they’ll let us in.”

    Saban does the same thing year in year out. Tells his boys that they ain’t done a damn thing and they gotta work for it, and it works. Ball Coach is just tryin to make his boys hungry.