Steve Spurrier. The Head Ball Coach. The Ol’ Ball Coach. Steve Superior. The Visor-Wearing Thorn In Kentucky Football’s Side.
Spurrier’s been beating Kentucky up since 1990. He won his first 17 career games against the Cats, before Randall Cobb’s squad rallied from a 28-10 halftime deficit in 2010 to finally put one in the win column. UK stole another one last season, but it’s still been a very lopsided affair with Spurrier over the years.
This Saturday, Kentucky will look to make it three out of the last six against Spurrier’s Gamecocks, and 20-3 against him overall. No matter how the game goes, you can go ahead and bank on Spurrier being Spurrier in the postgame. For years he’s made snide remarks at the Kentucky football program. And for years we’ve sat back and taken it, sometimes with laughter.
I, for one, am a fan of Steve Spurrier, despite the hell he’s put me through as a Kentucky football fan. So tonight, as we get closer to what may be our last time seeing him, I’d like to celebrate all he has given us over the years.
Here are the Great Moments In Steve Spurrier History…
“These sort of games don’t prove very much. All it proves is we’re better than Kentucky.”
After destroying Kentucky, 65-0, in Bill Curry’s final season in 1996, Steve Spurrier said, “These sort of games don’t prove very much. All it proves is we’re better than Kentucky.”
“They were padding their stats and I decided we were going to pad ours.”
Trailing Spurrier’s Gators in the second half in 2000, a freshman Jared Lorenzen picked the Florida defense apart, racking up 360 yards on 59 pass attempts in the game. Then with under a minute to go and a three-touchdown lead, Spurrier called for a bomb, rather than taking a knee to end the game. Rex Grossman hit Jabar Gaffney for a 43-yard score with five seconds to go.
Afterward, Spurrier defended the play call, saying, “I guess they’re upset about that pass. Well I called it. If there’s 1:13 left, would that have been any nicer? They were padding their stats and I decided we were going to pad ours. Because ours were sufferin’. If Kentucky wants to be mad about it, we’ll be up in Lexington next year, and they can do something about it then.”
“Kentucky has a heck of a punter, I know that.”
Winning 54-3 and holding the Cats to 96 total yards just wasn’t enough for Spurrier in 2011. He had to stick it to Kentucky in his postgame press conference, too.
When asked about the game in his press conference, he said, “Kentucky has a heck of a punter, I know that.”
“We could have picked up 70 or 80 points today,” he added. “But 50 was enough.”
“If I had a defense like Hal Mumme has, I would be trying them on every kickoff.”
Kentucky attempted several onside kicks in its 55-28 loss to Florida in 1997, leading Spurrier to say, “If I had a defense like Hal Mumme has, I would be trying them on every kickoff.”
“We’re all happy they didn’t put that running quarterback in there, Randall Cobb.”
Kentucky needed a two-point conversion to force overtime against No. 25 South Carolina in 2009, following a 70-yard scoring drive to cut the Gamecocks’ lead to two. Randall Cobb ran for 64 of those 70 yards, including the two-yard TD with four minutes to play. Then, for reasons unbeknownst to me, Cobb did not get the ball for the potential game-tying conversion. No, backup quarterback Will Fidler threw an incompletion instead.
“We’re all happy they didn’t put that running quarterback in there, Randall Cobb,” Spurrier said after the close win. “I’m glad they didn’t use him the last possession because we were in disarray there. We couldn’t tackle him.”
“We thought we had done something good beating Clemson. And then Kentucky beat ’em.”
In the summer of 2007, following UK’s win over Clemson in the 2006 Music City Bowl, Spurrier seized the opportunity to get another dig in on the Cats. He told reporters at SEC Media Days, “We thought we had done something good beating Clemson. And then Kentucky beat ’em.”
“You know what FSU stands for, don’t you? Free Shoes University”
Kentucky isn’t the only school to be on the receiving end of Spurrier’s Spurrierisms. He’s been dishing it out his entire career, to anything close to resembling a rival.
One of his best came in 1994, when he said, “You know what FSU stands for, don’t you? Free Shoes University”
The comment was making light of recent accusations against Florida’s rival, Florida State.
“I don’t know. I sort of always liked playing them that second game because you could always count on them having two or three key players suspended.”
In 2012, the Southeastern Conference expansion moved Georgia back a few weeks on South Carolina’s schedule. The game had been played on the second weekend of the season for 10 of the previous 12 years.
When asked about the change, Spurrier said, “I don’t know. I sort of always liked playing them that second game because you could always count on them having two or three key players suspended.”
“Can’t spell Citrus without UT.”
Back in the day, the Citrus Bowl was designated for a second-choice team from the SEC. Tennessee was Spurrier’s SEC East rival at the time, and he poked fun at Phil Fulmer and the Vols’ back-to-back appearances, saying, “You can’t spell Citrus without UT.”
He also said, “I know why Peyton Manning came back for his senior year. He wanted to be a three-time Citrus Bowl MVP.”
“The scholarships they were giving out at Alabama were worth a whole lot more than ours.”
Spurrier even took a shot at the Crimson Tide when talking about recruiting around the SEC…
“In 12 years at Florida, I don’t think we ever signed a kid from the state of Alabama. Of course, we found out later that the scholarships they were giving out at Alabama were worth a whole lot more than ours.”
“…But the real tragedy was that 15 hadn’t been colored yet.”
Spurrier used an old joke to poke fun at Auburn while talking to Florida fans. He told them there was a fire at the Auburn football dorm and 20 books were destroyed.
“… But the real tragedy was that 15 hadn’t been colored yet.”
Love him or hate him, the man has given us so much.
(And in Kentucky’s case, mostly losses.)
To Steve Spurrier!