Bowl Bits: Spurrier and Space Mountain?

December 29, 2013 

South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier stretches during practice at Celebration High School in Kissimmee, FL, Sunday, December 29, 2013.

GERRY MELENDEZ — gmelendez@thestate.com

— If you’re expecting to bump into USC coach Steve Spurrier in line at Disney World’s Space Mountain, don’t hold your breath.

After practice each day, Spurrier hasn’t strayed too far as he prepares his team to play Wisconsin in the Capital One Bowl.

“This is the busiest time of the year down in Orlando, so the crowds at the amusement parks are very big. The lines are long, so I’ve stayed away from them. Our players have gone to most of the events, but I’ve hung around the hotel most of the time,” Spurrier said. “We have a hospitality suite, so the coaches and wives and kids hang out there a lot. We had a staff dinner (Saturday) night. Other than that, just practice and hanging around the hotel has been about what I do.”

Spurrier, who has guided the Gamecocks to a 4-3 record in seven bowl appearances, is pleased with how his players have responded since arriving in Florida.

“Our team has practiced well. Of course, I just about always think that. I always believe we’re going to play well,” he said. “We’ve had pretty good practices. Hopefully, it will give us some returns when the ballgame starts Wednesday at one o’clock.”

He has his mind on extending the best run in USC football history after finishing 11-2 with rankings of No. 9 and No. 8 the past two seasons.

“Every game, of course, is important for your final record, but this is your last game. So this is the one fans talk about until we play next August. Obviously, we’ve got a chance to win 11 again, and we’ve got a chance to finish the highest in school history,” he said.

He knows what one more win could do for the No. 8 Gamecocks.

“If we won, I don’t know if we could do No. 6 in the country or not,” he said. “But finishing in the top 10 is certainly one of our goals this year, and if we could achieve that, that certainly would be a wonderful season for the Gamecocks.”

BOWL FACTS

Former USC running back Ryan Brewer holds the school record for most touchdowns in a bowl game with three. In the 2001 Outback Bowl against Ohio State, Brewer scored on runs of 7 and 2 yards while also catching a touchdown pass of 28 yards in the 24-7 victory. ... Former USC kicker Collin Mackie holds the school record for the most field goals in a bowl game with two. Mackie kicked two field goals in a 30-13 loss to LSU in the 1987 Gator Bowl. One of the field goals was a 49-yarder, USC’s bowl record for distance.

MONDAY’S SCHEDULE

10 a.m. — Florida Citrus Parade

11:15 a.m. — Wisconsin team practice, Freedom High School, Orlando

11:30 a.m. — South Carolina team practice, Celebration High School, Kissimmee

2 p.m. — Capital One Bowl news conference featuring selected coaches and players

2 p.m. — USC players visit Best Buy for a shopping spree

QUOTE-UNQUOTE

“(Wisconsin) is a great football team. They’ve got a great defense. They play a great scheme. They’re so sound and very intelligent. They don’t make a lot of mental mistakes. We’re going to have to run the football and do it well. And then find out and see what they are giving us. We’ll find out early in the ballgame and see what we can do with it and work from there.” - USC offensive line coach Shawn Elliott what it will take for the offense to play well

Compiled by Neil White

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