GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The master psychologist is at it already.
Less than a week before the biggest game of the season for South Carolina, coach Lou Holtz expounded the virtues of his opponent while underplaying his team's chances Sunday, something he has become legendary for during his career.
Florida (7-1, 5-1) plays at South Carolina (7-2, 5-2) at Saturday night in an ESPN-televised game with major SEC implications.
"I like this type of game. That's why you coach," Holtz said. "Here we are, the last conference game of the year; national television. GameDay is here. If we win it, we have an excellent shot of winning the Eastern Division championship. ... They are just a very, very good football team.
"I don't like being in this situation, where the team you're playing is averaging 45 points per game and giving up just 11 points per game. Our offense last year, we couldn't score 45 points against Florida if they left the field in the first quarter."
But Florida coach Steve Spurrier said he isn't buying into Holtz's talk. And he said he doesn't expect his players to do so either.
"Everybody we play talks about how great we are, so we should be used to that by now," Spurrier said. "Even the Auburn coach said the same stuff. If we listen to the enemy coach, the opponents, then we're a bunch of fools down here."
Spurrier said Florida incurred no serious injuries in Sautrday's 71-13 win over Vanderbilt.
"We're ready for the stretch run," he said. "Whatever kind of season we're going to have is going to start being determined with the games starting this week."
(Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service, http://www.shns.com.)