Steve Spurrier zings Jim McElwain, Gators on plane ride to ESPN
Ask Steve Spurrier what his favorite wins were at South Carolina and he always mentions the two games that stick out the most — 2010 over No. 1 Alabama and 2010 at Florida to clinch the program’s only SEC East title.
Several wins over Clemson (including five in a row) was the calling card for the fan base, but the Head Ball Coach’s notables came against the Crimson Tide and Gators.
Josh Kendall, South Carolina’s beat writer for The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C., uncovered an interesting nugget this week about Spurrier’s interaction over the summer with first-year Florida coach Jim McElwain during a plane ride on the Gators’ jet to Bristol, Connecticut before an appearance on SportsCenter.
Spurrier pulled out his phone and showed McElwain a photo of the game ball he kept for himself after the Gamecocks snapped Alabama’s 19-game win streak when the stars aligned on that October afternoon in Columbia.
It was South Carolina’s first win in school history over a top-ranked defending national champion.
“Coach Spurrier put it to me pretty good on that one, and he was right,” McElwain said this week. “That quarterback, kid out of Tampa, that given game he might have been the No. 1 draft pick in the country coming out of that. He and Alshon Jeffery played really well that night.”
McElwain’s referring to Saturday Down South’s own Stephen Garcia, a multi-year starter for Spurrier during his tumultuous career with the Gamecocks. Many believe Garcia’s 201-yard, three-touchdown outing against Nick Saban and McElwain’s Crimson Tide was his best performance ever with the Garnet and Black.
“They beat our tails, and (Spurrier) was pretty quick to remind me of that,” McElwain said.