Spurrier Says Tigers Are "Awfully Good"

Comments from South Carolina's head football coach are featured.

Columbia, S.C.--As Auburn prepares for its second road trip of the 2006 football season, the Tigers are trying to keep on track to reach their goal of winning the Southeastern Conference title.

For Thursday night's opponent, the goal is not the same. At least that is what University of South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier says.

"We are not really considering ourselves a title team right now," he notes. "I don't know of any team in the SEC that starts as many freshman as we do and come out and say they are going to try to win the SEC. I don't think it is a realistic goal so we didn't talk about it.

"We certainly would love to win more than we lose, games in the SEC, but we are playing the number two team in the nation, two or three, something like that when the poll comes out tomorrow. I guess they will be two so we don't have any apprehensions that we are supposed to beat these guys, but yet you always have got to believe if you get a bunch of breaks and you play close to perfect ball you'll have a chance."

Auburn, which is 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the SEC, defeated the Gamecocks 48-7 last year in Auburn. This year's game will kick off shortly after 6:30 p.m. CDT on Thursday night at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C., and will be televised by ESPN.

"Auburn's awfully good, probably the best team in the conference last year," Spurrier says. "They could be this year. Who knows who is the best this year? We have just got to get ready to play the best we can."

The Gamecocks are 3-1 overall and 1-1 in the SEC with a road victory over Mississippi State and a home loss to Georgia.

Commenting on the Auburn game, Spurrier says, "We play them one at a time. This is one of the best teams we will play all year. We are not going to make a big deal out of it if we win or lose, one way or another, we are going to get ready to play our next opponent, which I think is Kentucky when this one is over Thursday night. We are trying to improve as the season goes and this is one of the games."

Spurrier, who calls the plays for the Gamecocks, says he has been watching video of Auburn's defense and is impressed.

"What Auburn does is their guys play fast," he says. "They play their assignments. They don't have a lot of mistakes. They hustle all of the time--play fast and don't make mistakes. That is where we are trying to get to."

Spurrier notes that he was impressed with the 2005 Auburn team and says this year's edition looks strong, too. "I see them as very similar as last year. They had some seniors on last year's team, but they have been recruiting very well every year. They have got the guys ready to play. That is the key. I think our fans know that. You need to back up three, four or five...I mean you have to recruit every year. You don't have some of these blank years and expect to always be at the top recruiting.

"Auburn, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, LSU--those guys recruited solid ball players year after year after year," the coach adds. "For us to get at that level, that is what we have got to do. We can do that that here. It hasn't been done, as you know, over the last five years or so."

Auburn defeated Buffalo on Saturday by a 38-7 margin. The Gamecocks took care of Florida Atlantic by a 45-3 margin. The teams have one common opponent. Auburn defeated Mississippi State 34-0 and the Gamecocks defeated the Bulldogs 15-0 on opening night.

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