Spurrier: "It’s hard to explain, the only way to explain it was it was meant to be."
Steve Spurrier understands that Saturday night's come-from-behind victory over then-ranked No. 5 Missouri is one that's hard to explain.
South Carolina, down 17-0 entering the fourth quarter, somehow found its rhythm under the guidance of injured Connor Shaw and fought their way back to a 27-24 victory in double overtime in Columbia, Missouri.
Shaw cemented his status as a true Gamecock legend with his 20-of-29 passing performance with three touchdowns and no interceptions all the while hobbling around on one good knee which limited his running ability. He also had a stomach virus, according to Steve Spurrier.
Spurrier said on Sunday that putting in Shaw meant the Gamecocks had nowhere to go but up and that Shaw's knee injury likely made him stay in the pocket and throw the ball more.
"...So Connor comes in and obviously there is nowhere to go but up, we were shut out at that time. Maybe because of his knee, he had that little light brace on it and maybe it made him stay in the pocket a little longer and throw the ball. He stayed in there and bounced around a little bit and made all the throws."
Dylan Thompson had led the Gamecocks up to that point late in the third quarter when Shaw entered the game. Thompson wasn't bad as he threw the ball for 222 yards but had the misfortune of some ill-timed turnovers in the first half. Spurrier said Sunday that "Dylan was not all that bad last night," and he's right.
But something had to happen and Spurrier went to Shaw and asked him if he was ready to go.
Shaw said he was.
And the rest is history.
The Gamecocks are very fortunate to come away with the victory and Spurrier said as much on Sunday.
"We all realize we are very fortunate last night, seemed like a lot of good fortune came our way in that fourth quarter and somehow or another we won the game."
The Gamecocks will try their best to stay focused on the task at hand and the next task is Mississippi State.
"Hopefully we can put it behind us and try to really get ready for Mississippi State. It is a home game here; I think it is supposed to be a sell out so we are looking forward to coming home."
This will be the start of four-straight home games for the Gamecocks, where South Carolina has been dominant the last three years. There are two remaining SEC games left for the Gamecocks and both are very winnable as South Carolina wants to stay in the race for the SEC East division title.
They should have the services of Mike Davis and Connor Shaw for this weekend and they are hoping some other players like Rory Anderson, Gerald Dixon and Ronald Patrick will be over their ankle sprains and be ready to go for Mississippi State on Saturday.
As Spurrier said Sunday, "hopefully we will be pretty close to full speed when the game gets here on Saturday at 12:20."
We hope so too Coach.
But for now, we'll enjoy this win a little bit longer.