What coach goes for it on fourth down six different times, tries an onside kick after his team just tied the game, and says he's going to go for two to win if the Hail Mary is caught on the final play of the game? Steve Spurrier, who else?
With nothing to lose, the Head Ball Coach pulled out all the tricks against Auburn on Saturday. He even called a reverse pass back to his quarterback Dylan Thompson that went for 14 yards and a first down. Ultimately though, it wasn't enough as his South Carolina team came up just short, 42-35, on the road.
“We had a chance,” Spurrier said afterwards. “We knew we had to play close to perfect on offense, but we didn't do it. We didn't play perfect on offense, so we got beat. But it was almost a fun one. It was almost a fun one.”
“I told one of those guys in there if Jerell Adams catches that Hail Mary and we make a two-point conversion, that might have been the greatest win I've ever had in my life.”
Can you imagine? And the crazy part is nobody would have been surprised if Adams did haul in that Hail Mary pass. Love him or hate him, Spurrier keeps it entertaining.
Here's a look back at just how ridiculous those fourth-down calls were.
1. 4th-and-2, own 33, 15:00/2Q: The game was tied at this point. No reason to really go for it except that it's Spurrier -- so why not? Credit the call, though. South Carolina ran what looked like an option, but Thompson flipped it forward to Mike Davis, who ran for 18 yards and the first down. The Gamecocks later scored a touchdown on the drive.
Ridiculous meter (out of 10): 7
2. 4th-and-6, own 40, 4:34/3Q: This one would have made a little more sense when it was 4th-and-1, but a false start penalty moved it back five yards, making it 4th-and-6. Even down a touchdown, it's way too early to go for that, right? Wrong. The play was nearly blown up in the backfield, but Thompson somehow got it to Pharoh Cooper for the first down.
Ridiculous meter: 8
3. 4th-and-1, AU 23, 14:38/4Q: Again, the game was tied. South Carolina had all the momentum after recovering the onside kick, so it made sense to go for it in this spot. Some coaches might have tried the field goal and gone for the lead, but Spurrier was on a roll. To nobody's surprise, Davis went straight up the middle and got the first down.
Ridiculous meter: 3
4. 4th-and-1, own 34, 10:18/4Q: At this point, Auburn had taken a 42-35 lead and Spurrier knew if he gave the ball back, the game was over. After Davis was stopped just short on third down, the Gamecocks hurried to the line of scrimmage where Thompson called his own number on a quarterback sneak and picked up the first down.
Ridiculous meter: 2
5. 4th-and-8, own 38, 8:42/4Q: This was another one where if you look at the down and distance, the score (42-35) and the time left, it would have made more sense to punt. But Spurrier wasn't giving the ball back to Auburn. Not when he'd already converted all four fourth-down attempts. Thompson hit Adams over the middle, and the streak continued.
Ridiculous meter: 6
6. 4th-and-14, AU 19, 5:34/4Q: Trailing 42-35, South Carolina was going to need to score a touchdown regardless, but a field goal could've made things interesting had the Gamecocks gotten the ball back. Instead, they went for it, and Thompson's pass to Shaq Roland sailed over his head. The luck had run out. Still, 5 of 6 on fourth down ain't bad.
Ridiculous meter: 1