Spurrier shuns Missouri talk, keeps focus on USC's opponents

jkendall@thestate.comNovember 20, 2013 

South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier makes his way onto the field for the Gamecocks game against Florida at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, SC, Saturday, November 16, 2013.

GERRY MELENDEZ — gmelendez@thestate.com

Steve Spurrier is implementing an eight-year-old lesson this week in keeping his focus on South Carolina’s game against Coastal Carolina despite the importance of the Missouri-Ole Miss game for the Gamecocks’ title hopes.

“I learned a lesson back in 2005,” Spurrier said Wednesday on the SEC’s weekly teleconference. “Florida needed to beat us here in Columbia and have Auburn beat Georgia, and they got all those Florida coaches talking about Auburn and Georgia.”

That game ended up not mattering for the Gators, who were ranked No. 12 in the country (the same as South Carolina this week) and lost 30-22 to the unranked Gamecocks.

“I said, ‘If I am ever in that position, I am going to keep my big mouth shut and let it play out,’ ” Spurrier said.

If No. 8 Missouri loses at No. 24 Ole Miss on Saturday, or against No. 9 Texas A&M next week, South Carolina will win the SEC East and play in Atlanta on Dec. 7 for the overall conference title.

“If Missouri wins both games, I’ll be the first one to call coach (Gary) Pinkel and congratulate him on a heck of a year,” Spurrier said. “We are going to worry about what we have going on here. We can’t mess around. We have to really be ready to play this week.”

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