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10-27-2007, 11:16 AM

JOHNSON CITY, TENN. Just because you don't make it back much doesn't mean you've forgotten. Just because you don't make it back much doesn't mean you're forgotten.

That's the relationship between Steve Spurrier and the East Tennessee city he calls his hometown. And the whole third of the state, really.

The folks here watched Spurrier grow up and excel as a three-sport star at Science Hill High. They kept up with his years as a quarterback at Florida and in the NFL. And they've had an eye on a coaching career that's bordered on the brink of legendary.

But, over the years, the region has become conflicted. This University of Tennessee stronghold has watched its Volunteers lose to Spurrier in each of his college stops: Duke, Florida and, now, South Carolina.

The Gamecocks' victory in Knoxville two years ago was the program's first road win in the series. The teams play at Neyland Stadium again tonight.