Spurrier: More pressure on Vanderbilt game

October, 14, 2009
10/14/09
11:02
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low


Was that really the Head Ball Coach we saw at his press conference Tuesday or just an impostor?

His No. 22nd-ranked South Carolina team is getting ready for a huge game on Saturday, as the Gamecocks take on No. 2-ranked Alabama at Bryant-Denny Stadium. But it sounds like the game Steve Spurrier is really fixated on is that Vanderbilt game in two weeks.

That’s right … Vanderbilt.

Maybe he’s trying to reel in Alabama. Maybe he’s just being realistic.

Whatever the case, he sure isn’t pulling a Joe Namath and predicting a victory this weekend in Tuscaloosa.

“Obviously, we want to go in and give it our best shot and see what happens,” Spurrier said. “There’s not a lot of pressure on us. We’re not sitting around here and telling our guys this, that and the other. There was more pressure on that Kentucky game (last week), I can assure you of that, and the game next week when we play Vanderbilt, because we line up with those guys better. We all know that.”

Wow! Is Alabama so good that they’re in everybody’s head in this league?

It was just a few weeks ago that Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino said following the Hogs’ 35-7 loss to the Crimson Tide that his team didn’t really think it could win coming into the game.

Now you’ve got Spurrier suggesting that the Gamecocks are going to give it the old college try against Alabama, but that the Vanderbilt game is the one that’s really important. Then again, Spurrier has lost two in a row to the Commodores.

What gives?

This is what gives: The Head Ball coach knows that his team hasn’t played well the second half of the season the last few years, and regardless of what happens Saturday in Tuscaloosa, South Carolina has to prove that it can finish a season.

“We’re not going to toss in the towel if it doesn’t work out for us [at Alabama],” Spurrier said. “There’s a lot of football left, and this is just one game. We want to get in the mix with them and see what happens, but we’ve also got to remember a little bit down the road, too.”

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