COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH/AP) -- 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 says the players worked hard last week to correct mistakes. The Gamecocks (2-1) return to action at undefeated UCF (3-0) on Saturday.
"This is a team that is sky-high. There are 3-0 for the first time since 1988," said Spurrier. "A lot of them down there say this might be the biggest game in the history of the school."
In order to overcome a hyped-up team and a rowdy road environment, Spurrier will need more from his special teams and defense which have both been plagued by inconsistencies. The Gamecocks have already given up 76 points so far this season, which is almost three times more than it allowed through three games a year ago.
That's why the coaching staff made clear during the bye week that Central Florida is not a team to be taken lightly.
"This is the biggest game of our lives because it's the next game on our schedule," said quarterback Connor Shaw. "We're not overlooking this because it's an out-of-conference game. They just beat Penn State which is a powerhouse up there. We're excited for this one."
Spurrier is also looking for Shaw to throw the deep ball and for crisper play out of the offense, despite South Carolina's attack being on pace for a school-record showing at nearly 480 yards a game.
"You have to take your shots in the game to spread the defense out and you always have to get the big play. Of course, I could take advantage of that," said Shaw.
South Carolina and Central Florida kick off at 12 noon Saturday at Bright House Networks Stadium in Orlando.