Former South Carolina and Florida coach Steve Spurrier has scolded Tennessee at every opportunity during his career with the SEC. He kept a close eye on the volunteers’ battle with the Gamecocks. Tennessee’s college football playoff hopes ended on the road after South Carolina became the first unranked college football team in almost 100 years to score 63 points against a top-five opponent.
“It was impressive,” Spurrier said in an interview with mail and courier (Charleston, SC) this week. “And these receivers captured everything. And the O line gave him time. Yes, I almost feel sorry for Tennessee. “They’re not going to win the division, they’re not going to win the SEC, they’re not going to make the Final Four. You’re just going to have a slightly better year than average now. Someone told me, ‘Tennessee is probably headed for the Citrus Bowl now.’ I guess that’s pretty mean to say.”
Spurrier is notorious for saying during his time coaching the Gators, “You can’t spell citrus without UT.” He had several wars with the Volunteers.
South Carolina competed in several offensive categories at the bottom of the SEC but enjoyed a memorable night behind a career effort by Spencer Rattler. The former Oklahoma transfer quarterback threw for 438 yards and a program record six touchdowns to shock Tennessee.
The performance was reminiscent of the Old Ball Coach’s best during his time with the Gators in the 1990s. He later went on to have three consecutive 11-win seasons at South Carolina and is the program’s most successful coach of all time.
Gamecocks coach Shane Beamer felt his team would pull through on the big stage.
Subscribe to 247Sports YouTube for the latest college football, basketball and recruitment news, including live college commitments.
“I know it sounds crazy, but before the game. We’ve had a great week of practice,” Beamer said of The Big Spur. “They’re a phenomenal team. They’re fifth in the country for a reason. They’re really, really good. Columbia, South Carolina and Williams-Brice Stadium at night are a challenge for any opponent. I knew what a team we had. I know the week of practice we had, starting Sunday night when we were on the field and the way the guys worked throughout the week. I’m not saying I thought we’d score 63 points and beat Tennessee by 25, but I felt really good about things.
“One moment as Hendon (Hooker) and I hope he’s in good health what a great young man and all that is right about college football. As he fumbled and got the ball right there and felt pretty good chances to hold on. I was very confident. We weren’t shocked by what happened in the first half. Nobody went into the dressing room at halftime and said, “Oh my god, look at what we just did.” We expected that.”