Spurrier on SEC Championship: "We're going to try and get one." - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Spurrier on SEC Championship: "We're going to try and get one."

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Walk into head football coach Steve Spurrier's office and you immediately notice all the awards, accolades, and mementos from previous successful coaching stints at Duke and Florida.

A game ball from his 1989 ACC Championship at Duke sits on a nearby shelf. "Duke 21, Clemson 17," it reads. Not too far from that is another game ball from South Carolina's first and only win against a number one-ranked team.

Those game balls, photos, and even his Heisman Trophy from 1966 tell a story of a mostly complete playing and coaching career.

But it's not over. Spurrier still has work to do at South Carolina.

"Hopefully we'll be up there," said Spurrier. "That's our goal is to be up there winning SEC Championships. Gotta get the first one to start with, but that's our goal. We're going to try to get one."

With the beginning of a new season of Gamecock football, there are plenty of expectations -- expectations that have never quite been there before.

"It has been interesting to think that it was only seven years ago I got here and most of the fans, some of them would say, 'We don't care if you lose them all as long as you beat Clemson.' I said, 'Man, that's a bad attitude. I'd rather win them all and lose to Clemson and go 10 - 1 or 11 - 1 or something like that,'" said Spurrier. 

Luckily for Spurrier and the Gamecocks, not only did he get 11 wins last year, but he also beat Clemson.

This year, the head ball coach finds himself once again heading up a tough defense and heavy running team that is almost the complete opposite of the high-flying and high-powered offensive teams he ran while winning SEC Championships and even a national title in 1996 in Florida.

But that doesn't mean he doesn't like the way he's winning.

"It was our best formula," said Spurrier. "I'm hoping we can throw more successfully this year. I believe we can because the guys are hitting them in practice. Connor [Shaw] and Dylan [Thompson] are completing more passes in practice than we have in the last several years. Hopefully that'll carry over into the ball games."

While Spurrier says he's yet to see a quarterback at South Carolina that reminds him of himself, he has praise for starting quarterback Connor Shaw.

"Connor is a smart quarterback," said Spurrier. "Connor does not make those plays that hurt. He's pretty good taking care of the ball, doesn't throw careless interceptions and things of that nature, but he's such a good runner. Connor is quick and fast, but he's gotta make sure when he does run that he gets down and avoids those hard hits."

Spurrier also heaps plenty of praise on his army of assistant coaches.

"I've got an excellent group of assistant coaches. These guys can recruit them, they can coach them up, they can get them ready to play, and we all get along well," Spurrier said.

With his coaches and key pieces of the offense and defense returning or being put into place, Spurrier has a chance to make even further waves in an extremely difficult SEC. If he needs inspiration, he doesn't have to look too far. He just has to look at the 1989 Duke football and realize that's the last time the Blue Devils have won the conference.

Perhaps he's got the chance to bring that kind of magic to South Carolina.

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