*Written by student assistant Kim Barrett
After practice Tuesday, players and coaches spoke to the media about overcoming the challenges they faced against LSU, and how they are using their mistakes to prepare to play the undefeated Florida Gators.
When asked what the biggest problem was Saturday during the loss to LSU, defensive line coach Brad Lawing recognized the success of the whole LSU team. Lawing shared with the media, "They outplayed us. Their guys played better, and like a no. 1 team in the country."
With South Carolina having one of the best defenses in the country, one question was whether the problem was getting blocked out of plays or not making the tackles. Senior spur DeVonte Holloman believes it was a combination of both, but stated that they are putting that behind them and are looking forward to this weekend.
When asked how they are preparing in practice, Holloman shared that they are working on more tackling drills and the little things. The senior stated they are working on "wrapping up and being more physical. I feel like we took a punch and we didn't give one back."
Coach Botkin believes that the Gamecocks can't blame last weekend's loss on one thing and that the team is using the loss as a way to help them prepare for the match-up against the No. 2 Gators. To apply the lessons they learned from LSU, Coach Botkin stated "We have to go out there and do better than what we did. Better at technique, the little things, and better at practice this week."
Florida and LSU are similar in that they are both running teams, and the media questioned if there was a concern over the Gamecock defense facing another strong running team. Coach Lawing has a concern, but believes the team is deep enough with its six defensive tackles.
The emotion is building for the Gamecocks as they face their 3rd straight top-ten opponent, but Holloman is quick to put aside any concerns over the emotional wear it puts on the team. Holloman believes it is part of the job of playing in the SEC, sharing, "You can't be down too long when you lose, you have to put it behind you and come Monday ready to work."
The Gamecocks are trying to continue the success from the last time they traveled to Gainesville and soundly defeated the Gators 36-14 to win the SEC Eastern Division in 2010. When asked if this gave the team confidence heading on the road, DeVonte Holloman stated, "History means nothing. They are a better team than they were two years ago, but so are we. We will see who the better team is at 3:30 [on Saturday]."
Watch full videos of coaches' and players' interviews here, and be sure to check back to GamecocksOnline.com tonight for interviews from offensive players and coaches following Wednesday's practice.