*Written by student assistant Kelly McAlindin
Following practice Wednesday, Gamecock Football coaches and players offered comments about where they stand after defeating Tennessee and the game plan for remaining four games of the season.
The Gamecocks are now ranked No. 8 in the BCS polls, which is the same ranking the team was given at the beginning of the season. The team's ranking has fluctuated, ranging from No. 3 to No. 13, but Head Coach Steve Spurrier believes the team has had a good year, "Not a great year, not a bad year, just sort of a good year right now and certainly we hope to finish strong the last four games."
One of the keys to the victory against Tennessee was the improvement to Connor Shaw's passing game. Coach Spurrier, who faced some criticism for benching the junior quarterback during the game at Florida, notes how that move is what motivated Shaw to play his best game of the season, "I've had many a quarterback who after the bench they come back better players and, for Connor, it really helped him."
Although the loss of Marcus Lattimore for the season still resonates with the team, his teammates are beginning to step up and keep the team focused on winning.
Senior running back Kenny Miles, who is now the number one running back for the Gamecocks' offense, appreciates the opportunity to help the team and maintain the level of play needed to win, "We'll be ready to play when we know it's time to go."
Miles also noted how although the team is missing one of its leaders on the field, the team still continues to push and look forward the finishing the season strong, "We still got the pieces, still got the people, still got the coaches and we're all focused."
Players and coaches believe the bye week could not have come at a better time. It gives the team time to re-evaluate before taking on Arkansas at Williams-Brice on November 10.
Additionally, the Gamecocks remain optimistic about a successful finish to season despite the highs and lows they have experienced along the way. When asked about how he feels about the remainder of the season, Kenny Miles focuses on the team's drive to win, "It's not a good book unless you win at the end."
Check out more videos of coaches' and players' post-practice interviews here.