Spurrier expresses marked optimism at the outset, with “We’re ready to go play”

“We’re ready to go play.”

With the aforementioned marked optimistic declaration voiced by Steve Spurrier, who is at the beginning of his seventh season in control of the South Carolina (USC) football program, the veteran coach got his first press conference of the season off with a running start Tues. (Aug. 30) at Williams-Brice Stadium.

Now all that’s left for the 12th ranked Gamecocks to do is validate the trust their coach seem to have in them when they face-off against East Carolina (ECU) Sat. night (Sept. 3), at Bank of America Stadium, in Charlotte, N.C. Kick-off time in this matchup involving Conference-USA-affiliated ECU and Southeastern Conference (SEC)-connected USC is set for 7:00 p.m.

Trying to downplay all the hype that is surrounding his 7th edition of Gamecocks football, which in one case has the South Carolina team projected to end up as the No.1 team in the nation, when it’s all said and done in the 2011 campaign, Spurrier simply said, “We don’t talk about all that kinda stuff. We just try to keep our players focused on improving as a team.”

In spite of the Gamecocks being favored by at least three touchdowns going into the game to be played in the Queen City of the Tar Heel State, Spurrier pointed out that ECU has upset some top-notched teams in the recent past; and will come in the game this weekend believing it can beat his squad.

“They’ve had some problems defensively. But they’re a good offensive team that likes to throw the football,” the USC coach said. “With their quarterback (senior Dominique Davis), who has set a lot of records throwing the football, we expect to be tested; especially our defensive backs.

“We need to go up there and stop them from throwing the football like they want to. Also, we need to move the football (on offense) and not give it up on too many three and outs (if we want to win the football game). The game will be a challenge to us… but I feel we’ll be ready to go play.”

In other opening games involving South Carolina-based colleges and/or universities, South Carolina State is slated to challenge Central Michigan tonight (Thurs, Sept. 1, 7 p.m.)), in Mt. Pleasant, Mi. In other encounters Sat., 9/3, Clemson welcomes Troy (3:30 p.m.); Charleston Southern is at Central Florida (7 p.m.); The Citadel entertains Jacksonville (6 p.m.); Coastal Carolina hosts Furman (6 p.m.); Newberry takes on North Greenville in Newberry (6:30 p.m.)and Wofford travels to Clinton to test Presbyterian (1:30 p.m.)