Originally created 11/22/06

Tigers, not a bowl, concern Spurrier first

COLUMBIA - South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said Tuesday he isn't overly concerned with the bowl implications for his team in Saturday's game with Clemson.

In his view, beating the Tigers is incentive enough.

"I just think beating an in-state rival is plenty of reason to go try to play your best," Spurrier said at his weekly press conference. "We've got plenty of reason to go play. The bowl will take care of itself."

A victory over the Tigers (8-3) would all but assure South Carolina (6-5) of a bowl bid, while a loss would leave the Gamecocks in a more tenuous situation.

Even so, Spurrier said he's more concerned with putting a stop to Clemson's dominance in the series than polishing the Gamecocks' bowl resume.

Clemson, who leads the series 63-36-4, has won four consecutive games against the Gamecocks and eight of the past nine. But Spurrier says Clemson's dominance will have no bearing on the outcome of Saturday's game.

"Every game, I believe, stands on its own merit," he said. "If we play well ... we believe certainly that we have a chance to win the game."

Something else Spurrier says the Gamecocks haven't done recently is beat a quality opponent - something No. 24 Clemson certainly is.

The Gamecocks have lost all five of their games this season against nationally ranked teams.

"We've beaten the guys we're supposed to and have struggled at the end against some teams we had a chance to" beat, he said.

"We're looking forward to see we can play at Death Valley and go from there."


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