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Spurrier compares Lattimore to Emmitt Smith, has interesting take on upsets

During his weekly press conference today, Steve Spurrier compared Marcus Lattimore to Emmitt Smith. He also had an interesting assessment of why several D1-AA teams have knocked off some top programs.

Spurrier said, “I mentioned earlier I think his (Lattimore) style is a lot like Emmitt Smith. Emmitt, his shoulder pads seem to always be square when he comes through the line of scrimmage. Tacklers don't get a good clean shot at his body because his pad level is so low. Even when they dive at his feet and ankles, he's able to get his feet (off) the ground if they come in real low. That's how running backs can stay healthy a long time. Emmitt I don't think ever had knee surgeries, ankle problems or anything over the years. He lasted a long time without injuries. I think Marcus's style will keep him healthy, I believe. Hopefully it will. We'll see how it goes. He doesn't give tacklers a good clean shot at him. He has the ability to glance off and break tackles and so forth.”

(on the offensive line) “When we watched the tape we realized we didn't play all that great. The offensive line played decent most of the time, but we had a lot of mistakes up there. A couple of (defenders) were waiting on Marcus (Lattimore) as soon as he got the ball. One time Stephen (Garcia) got hit from the blindside and fortunately he held onto the ball. That didn't cost us, but we didn't complete much down field. I think we had four passes past the line of scrimmage the other day. We have a lot of work to do in pass protection, throwing the ball and catching. We have a long way to go if we'll have a good year.”

(On the D1-AA upsets) “I don't have the exact answer. If you watched Miami of Ohio almost beat Florida a couple of weeks ago, you can see that they were really ready to play. I'm not sure that the bigger schools get as fired up as they need to be to play smaller schools, but football is a game of emotion. It is. It's that old saying, `It's not the dog in the fight, it's the fight in the dog' in football. That's how upsets can happen. You get a big play here or there, get a loose fumble that you pick up and score; you need one or two big breaks to get a big upset. If you can get those and not give the other team anything, it can happen. That's how James Madison did it the other day. I don't think Virginia Tech punted, but they had to kick field goals and had three turnovers. (Virginia Tech) only had 16 points without punting. That means James Madison didn't give anything. That's how (upsets) can happen.”

South Carolina hosts Furman this weekend.