Steve Spurrier to media: 'I don't need to take questions'

September 24, 2012 

Call it the Head Ball Coach media blackout.

South Carolina Coach Steve Spurrier refused to take questions for a second straight session with the media, doubling up Sunday on the trend he began during Saturday's post-game session after the sixth-ranked Gamecocks defeated Missouri 31-10.

Spurrier started his regularly scheduled Sunday teleconference as always with about a five-minute review of the previous day's contest, an update on player injuries and a look ahead to the Gamecocks next opponent, Kentucky.

And then Spurrier said, "I believe that covers it all. I don't need to take questions."

Spurrier hung up as callers began to protest.

South Carolina athletics spokesman Steve Fink did not want to speculate Sunday about why Spurrier wouldn't take questions.

There was little indication Saturday that Spurrier's move to end his post-game session with the media before answering questions would continue. He seemed good-natured and jovial after the sixth-ranked Gamecocks (4-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) won their eighth straight game over the past two seasons.

Spurrier joked his quarterback Connor Shaw, who was 20-for-21 passing and connected on his last 20 throws, "got off to a slow start. Missed his first one, I think."

Spurrier even spoke gratefully about one of his former bosses in Pepper Rodgers, the former Kansas and UCLA head coach who Spurrier credited with giving him a job calling plays at Georgia Tech and starting him on his stellar coaching career. Rodgers was visiting Spurrier this week and spoke to the Gamecocks.

"Wonderful victory," Spurrier said. "And we're happy to get it. I'll let the players comment on it now. OK."

With that Spurrier got up and left without taking questions from dozens of waiting reporters and TV cameras.

It's not the first time Spurrier changed up his usual media routine. Last season, Spurrier would not hold his regular Tuesday media session because he did not want to speak in front of a local newspaper columnist he was upset with. The session was posted on YouTube and has been viewed close to 400,000 times.

Spurrier had said he wouldn't speak to reporters in the future as long as the columnist was in the room, but returned to his regular spot in front of cameras, recorders and microphones a week later, pledging to be more positive.

Spurrier is scheduled to speak to reporters again Tuesday to preview South Carolina's road game at Kentucky (1-3, 0-1).

Close win over Auburn No. 3 LSU's reality check

Zach Mettenberger smartly qualified his attempt to place perspective on LSU's narrow win over Auburn.

The junior quarterback, in his first year as a starter, called Saturday night's 12-10 win "the biggest game of my life so far."

The key words in Mettenberger's appraisal were "so far." Much bigger games are coming soon for the Tigers, who are 4-0 but dropped a spot to No. 3 Sunday in The Associated Press Top 25.

LSU plays Towson this week before starting an imposing string of Southeastern Conference games on Oct. 6 at Florida. The Tigers then play South Carolina, Texas A&M, Alabama and Mississippi State.

Coach Les Miles said LSU (4-0, 1-0 SEC) must improve after struggling offensively against Auburn, which has an overtime victory over Louisiana-Monroe as its only win.

"We were sloppy," Miles said. "It's interesting, we practice the ability not to have penalties, but what happens is guys lose their poise. This is a tremendous lesson for us which is something that we'll certainly be able to teach from in a very aggressive manner."

Miles said his defense "played extremely well," especially in the second half. The offense was flat as Mettenberger lost two fumbles.

LSU's powerful running game was held to 182 yards — good for most teams but almost 100 yards below the Tigers' league-leading average.

Perhaps the most encouraging drive for LSU's offense didn't produce any points.

Mettenberger appeared indecisive at times when holding the ball. He was sacked twice by Auburn's Corey Lemonier.

"I made a couple of mistakes early on, but I think this win really showed the character of this team," Mettenberger said. "I think I handled the pressure well."

Richt remains coy on status of Rambo, Ogletree

Mark Richt would not confirm expectations No. 5 Georgia finally will be at full strength this week against Tennessee.

Georgia has won its first four games, including Saturday night's 48-3 rout of Vanderbilt, with All-America safety Bacarri Rambo and starting linebacker Alec Ogletree serving suspensions.

Richt has never clarified how long the suspensions will last. On Sunday he continued his weekly ritual of not updating the status of the two defensive stars.

"We'll figure it out in pregame warmup I guess, just like last week," Richt said.

Rambo's high school coach said this summer the suspension followed a second positive drug test for marijuana. Alec Ogletree was suspended for an undisclosed violation of team rules.

West Virginia eager to get started in Big 12

It's the week West Virginia has been waiting for.

After three double-digit wins in nonconference play, the ninth-ranked Mountaineers now turn to their Big 12 debut against No. 25 Baylor.

"It's a new season, man," said West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith. "It's all about the conference."

Next Saturday, it will be all about lighting up the scoreboard. Baylor is averaging 51 points a game, the Mountaineers 47.

It's been 11 months since West Virginia announced it was leaving the Big East, but the move didn't become official until the school settled a lawsuit with its former conference in February.

Baylor's visit to Morgantown starts a round of introductions. West Virginia (3-0) has never played the Bears (3-0) in football, and not much against other current Big 12 members, either. The Mountaineers are 9-4 against them dating to 1928.

■ Through three games, Smith has thrown for 1,072 yards and 12 TDs with no interceptions.

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