You sure that was Steve Spurrier at the podium? Did someone kidnap the head ball coach and replace him with this ringer? The voice was familiar, but the words don't sound like the coach at all.
Coach Spurrier's new starting quarterback, Connor Shaw, completed 45 of 65 throws for 738 yards, eight touchdowns and two interceptions in the last four games of the 2011 season (including the bowl).
Want to bet Spurrier runs more this year? I know he has the talented Marcus Lattimore and experienced players waiting in the wings.
Still, Spurrier is Spurrier.
He has coached good runners in the past and his teams still threw a lot. He had Marcus Lattimore in 2010 and they threw a lot.
Like any good coach, Spurrier will run the ball as much as it takes to win. If winning comes by primarily running the ball, then its run, run, run.
Last year, the Gamecocks suddenly had a starting quarterback who couldn't throw it in the ocean. When those issues started they began to rely more and more on the run game.
With Connor Shaw, will South Carolina throw more than they did in 2011?
Steve Spurrier, like any coach, will surely take a 17-12 win over Florida like they got last year. In that win, he protected his new starting quarterback and only had him attempt 13 passes. They completed seven of them for 84 yards. They ran the ball 52 times and moved the chains and got the win.
Good enough, right? Wrong! Spurrier wants to win big! He wants his team to dominate. He wants 250 yards passing, 250 running and 40 points on the board. He knows how to get it too, when he has the tools.
This year, Coach Spurrier has the tools again.
Marcus Lattimore will get plenty of rushing yards. But last year's average of 181 yards passing per game (lowest since Spurrier got to Columbia) is going to be a thing of the past.
Get ready for the scoreboard to start lighting up in Columbia. Coach Spurrier has him a good passing game again and he will use it--a lot!