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No. 12 Gamecocks focused on Coastal Carolina

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PETE IACOBELLI | November 22, 2013 12:04 PM EST | AP


COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Steve Spurrier has learned his lesson about looking ahead and wants to ensure No. 12 South Carolina doesn't make that mistake.

The Gamecocks have one, possibly two, big games looming. They play state rival Clemson on Nov. 30 and, if things eighth-ranked Missouri, at the Southeastern Conference title a week later.

Spurrier won't get involved in all the what-ifs, not with Coastal Carolina (10-1) on tap for the Gamecocks (8-2) on Saturday.

South Carolina will look to win its 17th straight at home and Spurrier will try and go 48-0 all-time against FCS schools.

It was Spurrier's debut season at South Carolina in 2005 and his alma mater of Florida was headed to Williams-Brice Stadium with a chance at the SEC title game for the first time since Spurrier left as Gators coach in 2001.

"Florida needed to beat us here in Columbia and have Auburn beat Georgia, and they got all those Florida coaches talking about Auburn and Georgia," Spurrier recalled.

Turns out, the then-12th ranked Gators couldn't take care of their business against South Carolina and Spurrier walked off with a very satisfying 30-22 win — and something to file away for the future.

"I said, 'If I am ever in that position, I am going to keep my big mouth shut and let it play out,'" Spurrier said.

So Spurrier's doing just that, refusing to bite on whether he's given any tips to No. 24 Ole Miss, which faces Missouri on Saturday night.

"We are going to worry about what we have going on here," Spurrier says. "We can't mess around. We have to really be ready to play this week."

Coastal Carolina likely has more games left, too. The Chanticleers are third in FCS scoring at 45.5 points a game and they've wrapped up a share of the Big South Conference title and a spot in the NCAA playoffs.

Chants offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude expects his players to do what they've done all season and compete hard despite the FBS challenge.

"Having not played that kind of competition, it's really tough to tell. But I know our guys will be prepared, they'll know what to do," he said.

Missouri, which fell to South Carolina 27-24 in double overtime last month, would have to defeat the Rebels and Texas A&M a week later to win the SEC East.

Gamecocks defensive end Kelcy Quarles says he's fully focused on Coastal Carolina — at least until after the game. Then he says he and other linemen are headed to position coach Deke Adams house to watch the Mizzou game.

"We're going to eat up all his food and watch the game," Quarles said.

___

Five things to watch for when No. 12 South Carolina faces Coastal Carolina:

WHO'S PLAYING: A year ago, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney sat out against FCS Wofford before returning to post 4 1-2 sacks in a win at Clemson. This time, Spurrier will likely rest SEC leading rusher Mike Davis and quarterback Connor Shaw some so they'll be ready to take on the Tigers. Spurrier says backup Shon Carson will start for Davis and that reserve passer Dylan Thompson will see action.

COASTAL'S CEO COACH: Coastal Carolina coach Joe Moglia left a successful financial career at head of TD Ameritrade to return to the sidelines. Moglia's clearly shown a similar aptitude with the Chanticleers, winning Big South crowns in his two seasons in charge. And it's not all football. Moglia give lectures to his players each week on subjects like economics, the presidential race and history.

SHAW'S MARK: If Connor Shaw starts at quarterback, he'll be in line to collect his record 25th win and hold the mark he currently shares with former South Carolina quarterback and current radio play-by-play announcer Todd Ellis.

THAT OTHER RUNNER: While Gamecocks star Mike Davis might sit out, Coastal Carolina's Lorenzo Taliaferro is sure to make some noise in this one. He's rushed for 1,466 yards (fifth in the FCS) and set an FCS record with 23 TDs on the ground this fall. Taliaferro has been honored as Big South offensive player of the week five times this season.

THE CHANTICLEERS? Coastal's unique nickname comes straight out of the Middle Ages and the father of English literature, Geoffrey Chaucer. In Chaucer's famed "Canterbury Tales." The name of the rooster in the "Tale of the Nun's Priest" is Chanticleer, a vain fowl prone to flattery who nonetheless cleverly escapes a fox and learns not to be swayed by sweet words and praise.