HOOVER, Ala. -- Steve Spurrier has always delighted in digging away at Georgia. This time, however, he let his star player do it.
South Carolina has defeated Georgia three straight years, and the past two have seen defensive end Jadeveon Clowney run roughshod over the Bulldogs offense. Obviously, when the two teams meet Sept. 7, Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray will be aware of Clowney.
But ‘aware’ was not the word Clowney used Tuesday.
Near the end of his interview session, Clowney got on the subject of quarterbacks who were “scared” of him. Matter-of-factly, he said he knew of three. Then he was asked which three.
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“Aaron Murray is one of them,” Clowney said.
He also listed Clemson’s Tajh Boyd and Arkansas’ Tyler Wilson. And he explained how he knew and exploited a quarterback being scared.
“You can look at a guy and tell if he’s scared. If he’s staring at me before the ball is snapped, if he’s staring at me before every snap, I’m just like, ‘Oh, we got him,’ ” he said. “I told (my teammates), ‘He’s shook. We’ve just gotta get a couple hits on him (and) he’ll turn the ball over. Throwing before he wants to, sliding.’ ”
Murray will get his chance to respond, at least verbally, on Thursday, when Georgia takes its turn at media days.
It’s normally Spurrier, the Gamecocks’ head coach, tormenting the Bulldogs verbally. Last year, for instance, Spurrier quipped that he liked playing Georgia early in the season because the Bulldogs seemed to always have some key players suspended.
Spurrier was reminded of those comments by a reporter Tuesday, and he was asked why they’ve had so much success against Georgia.
“We’ve been pretty fortunate. Last year Georgia, they didn’t play very well at all,” Spurrier said. “The first play of the game, their kid was getting ready to intercept it, and (South Carolina’s) Damiere Byrd sort of plucked it out of their hands, we went down and scored. Everything went our way the first half, second half.”
That’s hardly bulletin-board material.
Then Spurrier credited Georgia for being able to come back and win the division a second straight year.
“We’ve beaten them the last two years, then they’ve won all their conference games,” Spurrier said of Georgia. “That game is important, but it didn’t determine the division champion. So we’re going to try to beat ’em like we always do, and they’re going to try to beat us. But it should be a heck of a game.”
Spurrier did have entertaining thoughts on other subjects. He once again pushed for a player stipend, saying there was only one person who could get him to stop.
“If President Obama would say, Spurrier, you and those coaches need to quit fighting for your players, that they get enough, they get enough full scholarship, then I’ll shut up about it,” Spurrier said.
He also claimed that SEC coaches voted 14-0 that Notre Dame should join the ACC, because it was unfair the school got a vote in the BCS. Since Spurrier was the final coach to speak Tuesday, there was no way to confirm his version of the story.
Normally, when Spurrier is barking, it means he thinks he has a good team. But the furthest he would go on Tuesday was say that he had a “pretty good team, I don’t know how good.”
Clowney, however, was candid on that subject, too. First he was asked who South Carolina’s main competition in the SEC East would be.
“Georgia and Florida,” he answered.
And of the two, which is better?
“Probably Florida,” Clowney said. “I ain’t downing Georgia, because I don’t know who they got. I just know they graduate a lot of guys off their defense. That’s why I said that. I don’t know who Florida’s got coming back or left. I just know that Georgia (lost), like, nine defensive starters. So they’ve gotta put people in those spots, so it’ll be tough for them.”