Steve Spurrier thought people at South Carolina spent too much time focused on Clemson. So the Gamecocks coach needed to change the mindset.
He had to get players and fans to buy into the idea it was not a one-game season. It's working.
No. 13 South Carolina (9-2) will try for its landmark fourth-straight series win over No. 12 Clemson (10-1) at Death Valley on Saturday night.
If the Gamecocks pull off the victory, it would be only the second time its happened in the series - the other was from 1951-54.
''I think we take it less seriously than we used to,'' Spurrier said. ''I think they overdid it prior to coming here.''
There were signs everywhere, Spurrier recalled, saying `Beat Clemson.' When Spurrier, who replaced Lou Holtz after the 2004 season, took his first spring and summer tour of South Carolina booster groups, he heard from plenty of fans. They said they would be happy winning just one game a year if it were against Clemson.
''I said, `My thoughts are the opposite. ...