“Nah, that’s what they do,” Joker Phillips said when asked if he were angry about South Carolina’s last-second touchdown in Kentucky’s 54-3 loss on Saturday. “That’s their offense. Why should our problem become their problem?”
Here’s a quick breakdown of the Gamecocks’ final controversial series from Mark Story of The Lexington Herald-Leader:
“South Carolina was leading Kentucky 47-3 Saturday in Williams-Brice Stadium when the Gamecocks took over the ball at their own 24 with 3:38 left in the game.
On the ensuing drive, South Carolina completed three passes in what became a 10-play drive. With a chance to let the game clock run out without scoring, the Gamecocks instead rushed to the line of scrimmage to run one more play.
It became a Dylan Thompson 8-yard touchdown run with eight seconds left in what became a 54-3 victory.”
Poor sportsmanship? Not according to UK linebacker Danny Trevathan. “I know (Steve Spurrier) had the lead, but that’s his style of coaching. We needed to stop them.”
Indeed, Spurrier has never been one to call of the dogs. The case could be made that as a good general schooled in the Sun-Tzu’s “The Art of War,” the Ol’ Ball Coach is simply inflicting as much damage as possible on his enemy. Rather than taking a shortsighted view of Saturday’s game, he might have realized that beating down UK (and Phillips) could lead to further unrest in the Wildcat program and hurt them in recruiting. Since Carolina is traditionally lumped in with the Cats and Vanderbilt in the bottom half of the East, a blowout win might also further send the message that USC has arrived for good in that division’s upper echelon.
Sure, that could be the case.
But dollars-to-doughnuts I’ll betcha Spurrier — who often acts like an overgrown kid — just likes to run it up on people… and long-term prospects played little role in his go-for-the-jugular mentality on Saturday.