Steve Spurrier wants improvement

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Steve Spurrier had a simple plan for No. 12 South Carolina's bye week -- improve the Gamecocks' performance across the board.

South Carolina's coach has had issues with nearly every aspect of the team's play in its first three games and said the players worked hard last week to correct mistakes. The Gamecocks (2-1) return to action at UCF (3-0) on Saturday.

"Worked on covering kickoffs. Worked on punt return. Been working on those all year, though, so that was nothing new," Spurrier said Tuesday. "Worked on offense, defense, things like that. That was about it."

Spurrier has been particularly unhappy with the play on special teams, as the Gamecocks are near the bottom of the SEC in most categories. He even threw his visor -- usually reserved for offensive miscues -- after a fumbled kickoff and a muffed punt against Vanderbilt.

The defense has also struggled, despite having All-American Jadeveon Clowney as its focal point. The Gamecocks have allowed 76 points through three games, nearly three times more than the 29 they gave up during their 3-0 start a year ago.

"Yeah, we know we need to turn it around right now," Gamecocks linebacker Marcquis Roberts said.

To Spurrier, there's plenty to worry about. UCF, also off a bye week, defeated Penn State 34-31 in its last game and moved to 3-0 for the first time since 1988.

"I told Jadeveon, 'You need to get in better shape,'" Spurrier joked. "It's going to be a hot day."

The Knights know they'll have their hands full, as well, with South Carolina and Clowney, who had his second sack and forced a crucial fumble against Vanderbilt.

"They're a great defense, all around," UCF quarterback Blake Bortles said. "We've just got to be sharp in our game plan, sharp in our protections and making sure we're in the right spots at the right time."