Throwback Thursday with Steve Spurrier: “That was a mistake on my part”
South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier turned 70 this year. The Head Ball Coach is among college football’s best of all time, but he also carries a reputation for being one of the greatest quotes in the history of the sport.
To honor him as his illustrious career reaches this milestone, SECCountry.com will present a throwback Spurrier quote every Thursday during the football season in order to give some of his most memorable remarks the attention they deserve.
With the Gamecocks set to face Missouri on Saturday, this week features a flashback to last year’s “Battle of Columbia.”
“I messed up on the two-point conversion. Should’ve gone for it. I wasn’t even thinking about it until I looked up and saw it was 20-7. I had something in my mind where 16-7 might be real good the way our defense was playing. And then all of a sudden Pharoh (Cooper) caught that (touchdown) and nobody even on the bench thought about it until I looked up there and I said, ‘You know what, we should’ve gone for two. Too late now.’ So that was a mistake on my part.”
With 7:25 left in the fourth quarter, Cooper hauled in a 23-yard touchdown pass from Dylan Thompson to give South Carolina a 20-7 lead. Spurrier, whose defense had forced a Missouri punt on its previous 10 possessions, elected to take the extra point instead of trying for two. But in a sequence that nearly mimics what happened to Tennessee coach Butch Jones on Saturday, the conservative decision came back to bite the Gamecocks, as Missouri rallied for two late touchdowns to secure a 21-20 win at Williams-Brice Stadium.
Passing up the two-point opportunity lingered with Spurrier in the days afterward. Calls for his retirement grew a little louder.
Then-No. 13 South Carolina dropped to 3-2. The Gamecocks went on to lose three of their next four games by a touchdown or less, including an overtime defeat handed out by Tennessee.
The end result:
Clearly, Spurrier’s self-admitted mistake did little to dissuade at least one fellow SEC coach from following that tactic. At the least, last year’s outcome should provide a little extra fuel for the Gamecocks when they travel to Missouri on Saturday.
Kickoff is set for noon ET, and the game will be televised on SEC Network.