Spurrier wants no let up from new SEC East champs

By Rick Henry - bio | email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The most important game remaining on Carolina's schedule is the SEC Championship game against Auburn, but that's not until December 4 in Atlanta. In the meantime, USC needs to maintain the momentum gained from Saturday's win over Florida that means they need to be extremely focused against Troy and Clemson.  

Steve Spurrier will not spend a lot time this week reflecting on what happened Saturday night in the swamp. Instead, he'll remind his team about what happened last month in Kentucky. One week after knocking off then-top-ranked Alabama, the Gamecocks suffered a second-half meltdown and lost to the wildcats 31-28.

The Gamecocks played one of their best games against Florida just one week after laying an egg against Arkansas.

The Gamecocks are a football team on the run. Spurrier arrived in Columbia with the reputation as a guy who beat you with his passing game, but now he's winning games and titles by running the ball.

The head ball coach has one of the nation's best running backs in freshman Marcus Lattimore. On Saturday, Lattimore carried the ball 40 times for 212 yards and three touchdowns. Spurrier says it's no secret that the game plan will be similar for Saturday's game against Troy.

South Carolina's coaches don't need much to keep the newly minted Southeastern Conference East Division champions humble and hungry — all they have to do is point out the Gamecocks' record in November.

Since joining the SEC in 1992, South Carolina is 15-39 in the final month of the regular season. And even though the No. 17 Gamecocks have a spot set against No. 2 Auburn in the SEC title game Dec. 4, they still have to play Troy on Saturday and Clemson the next week.

So defensive back Akeem Auguste says coaches are urging the team to keep separating itself from South Carolina's mediocre past and create their own legacy.

The biggest challenge may come to South Carolina's spotty pass defense. Troy ranks 13th nationally in passing offense at 296 yards a game.

Copyright 2010 WIS. All rights reserved. AP contributed to this report.