The Gamecocks took care of business this past weekend after a resounding victory over Georgia 35-7. South Carolina dominated in all aspects of the game this past weekend leading to their first three-game winning streak over Georgia in school history.
Things don't get any easier for South Carolina as they are set to hit the road for two straight weeks traveling to LSU and Florida. If things remain the same in the national rankings, this will be three straight weeks of top 10 opponents for the Gamecocks.
South Carolina may have an opportunity to do something they've never done before - beat two top 10 teams in a row - if they are able to come away with a victory at the always tough Death Valley, home of the LSU Tigers.
Spurrier talked about this opportunity and the upcoming trip on Tuesday in his weekly press conference.
"…Another TV and a top 10 matchup like last week. I guess we have an opportunity with two top 10 teams (in a row). We've never won one on the road. Maybe we have another shot at something that's never happened around here. We're looking forward to going to Baton Rouge. Tough place to play. (They are) loud and screaming. We won't be able to audible like last week. Hopefully we can get the right one called and go from there."
Like Spurrier says, Death Valley is a tough place to play. Even though South Carolina will be facing their second straight top 10 opponent, Coach Spurrier indicates that it will be business as usual when it comes to the Gamecocks preparation for this weekend's game.
"You try to prepare for all of them the same way. I still think the biggest thing is your senior players and leadership on the team is what's most important. As coaches we do the same thing every week. Hopefully the team will follow."
Many teams won't have to face a harder slate on their schedule than South Carolina will during this three-game stretch. Coach Spurrier said he's doesn't recall a stretch of tough teams back-to-back like this in his coaching career.
"I can't remember one like that. Most of the time we were favored. We won't be favored here for a few which is fine and should be. It's a challenge what we're going through as far as playing all these ranked teams. Again that's just the way it is. That's what the schedule is and we're looking forward to it. Most of our guy shave never been to Death Valley. We haven't talked to our team about the stadium too much. They know it will be loud and crazy. We've won before 90,000 (fans) before. Most of our guys were in the Swamp two years ago and most of them were at Georgia last year. Good stadium and good crowd. We've won there before and certainly we've lost there before."
If South Carolina is to win this game, they'll need help from their strong defense to push them to victory. South Carolina limited the high-scoring Georgia offense to just seven points and 224 total yards after entering the game averaging over 48 points per game and 536 yards of offense. LSU's offense is not as prolific as Georgia's with an average of 195.7 yards passing per game but can run the ball very well as they are ranked 34th in the NCAA rankings with 198.3 yards per game.
Another key to South Carolina on offense is the play of Connor Shaw. Shaw has been extremely efficient the past three weeks throwing 41-of-49 passes for 559 yards and six touchdowns. He's also rushed 195 yards over the course of those three games as well. Spurrier knows he's got valuable weapon in Connor Shaw's legs and it's caused him to tailor his offense around it.
"That's a big part of his game, throwing and running. He's good at it so we use it. Usually those defensive coaches like quarterbacks that don't run. That's one less guy you have to account for. It certainly helps our offense. When he gets a small opening he can take off and make nine or 10 yards which is helpful. We turn him loose on that. If the guy is there we like for him to get out. He's pretty good about it."
A win this weekend would help continue the Gamecocks on their path to some lofty team goals set by the team this offseason. Spurrier didn't indicate what the goals were at his press conference, but he did say that they aren't satisfied with what they've done.
"This team set some high goals. The goal was not to just beat Georgia and get to 6-0. We set goals for the entire season so that's where we are. The team knows we're only halfway there. We're going to try and hit our goals."
Another week. Another challenge. Another goal. I don't think Steve Spurrier would have it any other way.
Spurrier: "Tough place to play"
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