Spurrier sees improvement in Vandy

South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier, well known for his sarcastic remarks regarding Vanderbilt football when he was at Florida, had some nice things to say about the 2005 Commodores and their head coach, Bobby Johnson.

South Carolina and Vanderbilt each face a crucial challenge for their bowl hopes. If either loses it could spell doom to the chances of a twelfth game. First year South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier had plenty of positive things to say about Vanderbilt.

Spurrier has noticed Jay Cutler's performance in the first seven games. Despite facing two top 10 opponents the last two weeks, Cutler remains ranked first in the SEC in total yards passing with 1,663 yards.

"I haven't watched (Cutler) as much as our defensive coaches but he can obviously run and pass. He can do it all. I think they lead the conference in third down conversion. He's a very good player, a preseason all-conference pick at Vanderbilt."

Spurrier also gives long suffering Bobby Johnson high marks for his performance as a head coach. Johnson's team sprinted to a 4-0 record this season after three dismal two-win seasons. Spurrier has taken notice of Vandy's improved personnel and the hard play of the Commodores.

"You have to give Bobby Johnson credit for what he has done. Their athletes look faster, quicker than in the past. They are certainly a well-coached bunch of guys and they play hard. You don't see those guys loafing around, dodging tackles, they play all around. We need to play our best all out to beat these guys this week," said Spurrier.

Spurrier commented that the Commodore defense is primarily zone oriented and that he expects the Vandy secondary to go with a more bump and run approach against his pass happy Gamecocks.

"They play a little bit more zone than most people. They are three deep, sometimes sort of a four deep, two deep, they mix it up. They do their zone blitzes, to get six, seven, eight guys up to the line of scrimmage. They are a little bit different than the teams we have played. They haven't done a whole lot of bump and run but they possibly could against us. They have an active group of defensive players, who play with a lot of effort," remarked the Gamecock coach.

Vanderbilt (4-3) and South Carolina (3-3) kickoff at 2:30 p.m. Central time at Williams-Bryce Stadium in Columbia, S.C. The game has been picked up by ESPN Gameplan making it available nationally on a pay-per-view basis.

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