Before Tennessee entered Williams-Pryce Stadium to take on South Carolina on Saturday, many wanted the Volunteers to compete for a spot in the college game.
While Vols foe Georgia will play in the league championship game against LSU on Dec. 3, the idea of watching Tennessee—a program that hasn’t won its division since 2007 or claimed an SEC title or national championship in 24 years—into the combination of college football’s elite was first Once in the year since Peyton Manning went to the NFL is an interesting idea.
That was until South Carolina beat the Volunteers, 63-38, on Saturday night. Hendon Hooker tore his ACL, ending his season and quest for the Heisman Trophy of the year. The Volunteers defense—a unit that went toe-to-toe with Alabama and played competitively against UGA—made Spencer Rattler look like Superman, and the Gamecocks offense scored touchdowns on nine of 11 drives.
The result was mind-boggling the great Steve Spurrier, who reignited his classic banter for a program he earned during his coaching stint in Florida.
Prior to the South Carolina-Tennessee game, the Gamecocks were out for a week where the offense was horrible. And to think about Saturday, South Carolina fell below 60 points in Falls.
“It was like a Beamer or [offensive coordinator] Marcus Satterfield said, “Why don’t we just try to score 50 tonight and see what happens? Every possession, let’s shoot away,” Spurrier He saidfor every mail and mail. “And then they just kept hitting and hitting.”
But that was not all. Spurrier took a playful take on the program as a reminder that the Volunteers will basically forever be the second item to other programs in the SEC East, even this season.
“They’re not going to win the division, they’re not going to win the SEC, they’re not going to be in that Final Four,” Spurrier said. courier. “They’re going to have a little better than average year now. Tennessee is probably going to the Citrus Bowl now,” someone said to me. I guess that’s a mean thing to say.”
Mean as it may be, but it wasn’t the first time the former six-time champion’s coach had used that line before, dating back to when he mentioned something similar in the summer of 1997.
“You can’t spell citrus without UT,” Spurrier He said.
For the sake of Tennessee, let’s hope the Volunteers don’t actually land in the Citrus Bowl, but rather get picked into another bowl, simply because of Spurrier’s banter. However, if it did, it would be funny.
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