With the SEC season in its rearview mirror, South Carolina will turn its full attention to Coastal Carolina this week, coach Steve Spurrier promised.
“We approach this game the same way we approach the Georgia game, Tennessee, Missouri, same way,” Spurrier said Sunday, one day after his Gamecocks beat Florida 19-14 to finish with a 6-2 conference record. “We do the same stuff every week. We emphasize the game that is coming up the best we can.”
Coastal Carolina is 10-1 in the Football Championship Subdivision and coming off a 46-13 win against Presbyterian. The Chanticleers’ only loss this season came to Charleston Southern, 31-26, on Nov. 9, and they are ranked No. 9 nationally in the FCS.
“We are going to focus on the next game, which is Coastal,” USC defensive end Jadeveon Clowney said. “We are going to go out and try to dominate them and keep going forward. Whatever happens, happens.”
Adding to the temptation to overlook the Chanticleers is the fact No. 7 Clemson awaits the following week.
“We’ve got a lot to play for this week without worrying about the one next week,” Spurrier said. “We have two instate schools, and I think they both have the same record right now. We haven’t had many easy ones that’s for sure, and this is not going to be an easy one for sure. They are going to come in here ready to beat us, we know that.”
The Gamecocks (8-2) fell one spot to No. 12 in The Associated Press poll on Sunday, but that has no effect on their conference standings. South Carolina will go to the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 7 if No. 8 Missouri loses at No. 24 Ole Miss this week or against No. 9 Texas A&M next week.
On Sunday, Spurrier kept all the focus on Coastal Carolina.
“We are ready to start getting ready for Coastal Carolina,” he said. “They are a very good team. They are going to come in here to beat us, and they certainly have a chance to do it if they play well and we don’t play very well.”
Clowney and running back Mike Davis were injured against Florida but returned to the field and are expected to play this week. Davis, who had 13 carries for 54 yards against the Gators, has bruised ribs and a bruised shoulder.
“Right now, we got the win, so I am feeling great,” Davis said late Saturday night. “I don’t feel hurt at all right now. Tomorrow, I don’t know.”
South Carolina will not rest anybody who is ready to play, Spurrier said.
“This is a huge game, counts the same as the Clemson game on our record,” he said. “Y’all did know that didn’t you?”