Georgia plays South Carolina on September 11 and it’s a big game by any measure. First, it’s an SEC game. Second, it’s an SEC East Division game. Third, fourth, fifth,sixth and so on...it involves Steve Spurrier.
There are lots of rivalries and traditions in the SEC, but not many run deeper than Georgia v. Spurrier. Bad feelings abound on both sides although Spurrier recently claimed that matchups against UGA aren’t really about him anymore. Sure they are -- at least in the minds of Bulldog fans.
Mark Richt and his coaches have five weeks to prepare their players for the trip to Columbia. In case they need some motivation ideas, I suggest they recount some quotes from the ghost of Spurrier past. Here are five gems that should get the Dawgs fired up and ready to pluck the Gamecocks when they travel to that sweltering cement monstrosity called Williams-Brice Stadium.
After beating the Dawgs 16-12 in Athens in 2007, Spurrier said:
"It wasn't like they were some big, powerful team.They've actually lost five in a row to Eastern Division opponents. Kentucky and Vandy beat 'em last year."
Spurrier had a cringe-worthy stint as coach of the Washington Redskins but while there, he took jabs at Georgia. He was asked whether he hoped the Redskins v. Cowboys rivalry would mirror his successful in-state rivalry versus Florida State. He replied, “Hopefully our Georgia.” He later clarified that Florida State wasn’t in the same conference, much less division, like Georgia, and added…
“We had a pretty good run over Georgia. Hopefully, it will be like that."”
Following a 45-13 win with the Gators in 1991:
"Why is it that during recruiting season they sign all the great players, but when it comes time to play the game, we have all the great players? I don't understand that. What happens to them?"
The Gators traveled to Athens in 1995 while the stadium in Jacksonville was undergoing renovations. With just over a minute left in the game, the Gators were already winning by a huge margin when Spurrier called a pass play that led to another touchdown. Final score: 52-17. Spurrier defended his decision saying...
"We knew coming in nobody had scored 50 against them here, so that's what we wanted to do. This may be the only time in our lifetime that Florida plays here, so we wanted to make it memorable for the Gators."
At a 2005 press conference, when asked about the 1995 game:
"They didn't seem to be mad about it. They only had about 5,000 left in the stadium."
Yep -- one quote a week for the next five weeks should be all the motivation the Dawgs need to prepare for their date with Spurrier and the Gamecocks in Columbia.