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#pounditTuesday, March 21, 2023

Steve Spurrier makes surprising comments about Tennessee

Steve Spurrier smiling

Jan 2, 2020; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Florida Gators former head coach Steve Spurrier is honored prior to the game between the Tennessee Volunteers and the Indiana Hoosiers at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

As both a quarterback at Florida and head coach at South Carolina, Steve Spurrier has a long and successful history against Tennessee. He won eight SEC East titles during those two stints and never missed an opportunity to troll the Volunteers.

Despite all of that, Spurrier, who is a Johnson City, Tennessee native, is now cheering on his former rival.

During a Thursday appearance on “The Paul Finebaum Show,” Spurrier praised Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel and the team’s offense. He also made the surprising admission that he’s now pulling for the program.

“I think they’re the best offense in the country right now,” Spurrier said. “Josh Heupel is coach of the year. (Hendon) Hooker’s a leading Heisman candidate.

“I was watching that Alabama game with some friends and a guy looked at me and said, ‘Coach, you pulling for Tennessee?’ I said, ‘Well, of course I’m pulling for Tennessee. I’m from Tennessee. You know that?’ He said, ‘I thought we always pull against them.’ I said, ‘Well, if the division race depended on them losing, of course we’d hope that would happen.'”

It wasn’t just that Spurrier is from Tennessee. Like many, he’s tired of seeing Alabama win on repeat.

“But Alabama, I think a lot of people in the SEC and the south have said hey, they’ve won enough,” he said. “Let’s get some other people with a chance to win some championships. I admire what they’ve done up there (at Tennessee). They throw it around better than anybody in the country right now. If that continues, I think they got a chance for that real big season.”

That’s a far cry from Spurrier’s famous line, “you can’t spell ‘Citrus’ without ‘UT.’

Following their victory over Alabama, Tennessee entered the week locked in at No. 3 on the AP Top 25. They play host to No. 19 Kentucky on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. ET.


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