Gamecocks working to prevent letdown

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COLUMBIA --- South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier's not quite sure what his 10th-ranked Gamecocks will do next.

That's the uncertainty you get when a young team has the biggest win in school history.

Spurrier and his staff have preached that players must put aside the buzz over their first win against a top-ranked opponent, 35-21 over Alabama, and focus fully on Kentucky this weekend.

Quarterback Stephen Garcia said Tuesday the Gamecocks (4-1, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) have shown a maturity they haven't in the past.

"Doesn't every team say that?" the 65-year-old Spurrier said. "We'll find out up there at Kentucky."

It had been a giddy few days at South Carolina, which had never beaten a No. 1 team before Saturday. Gamecocks flags flew on cars in church parking lots throughout the city Sunday.

Spurrier was a top draw, too, getting numerous requests from national TV and radio sports shows to revel in the upset.

"But if you notice, I didn't do any of them," the coach said. "I've just watched too many guys when you do all of those, something bad usually happens to you.

"I don't want to take that chance," Spurrier said.

Spurrier is 17-0 all-time against Kentucky, including the past five meetings as South Carolina coach. The Gamecocks have been a lesser team away from Williams-Brice Stadium, losing their past six SEC road games since the last victory in 2008 -- at Kentucky.

None of that, Garcia said, makes any difference against Kentucky. Unless the players show up to practice with a similar fire, the Wildcats (3-3, 0-3) could be the ones celebrating an upset.

"That's the thing that coach Spurrier's been talking about," Garcia said. "He said we could easily lose to Kentucky if we're not focused and we go in there thinking we're going to beat them."

Saturday's games

- Vanderbilt at Georgia, noon (CBS-Ch. 12)

- Maryland at Clemson, noon (Fox-Ch. 54)

- Middle Tennessee at Georgia Tech, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN3.com)

- Georgia Southern at Chattanooga, 6 p.m. (No TV)

- South Carolina at Kentucky, 6 p.m. (ESPN2)


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