We win! We feel really fortunate. We had no turnovers on offense. We won the game, well we barely won the game, but it is what it is. We can't slow down anybody much in the second half. But we're 4-1, and we're getting ready for Arkansas next week. A lot of guys played super, most of them on offense. I'm trying to think if a big defensive play occurred. I can't remember one. Special teams - we had our fumble, nothing much there. Elliot Fry made his field goals, which were crucial, and Landon Ard kicked off really well. We gave each of them half of a game ball. I just made that up tonight. They both were sort of deserving, not quite all the way, but deserving. Anyway, we're happy to win the game. Connor Shaw played a heck of a game, and Mike Davis had crucial runs when we needed him. It was a good win. It's always fun to be tested. You have to move the ball and score every time you touch it if you want to win the game. We've got a good offense. We should go out there and score a bunch of points if we can get a bunch of possessions. It was a quick game. I appreciate the fans staying until the end. I think they were all pretty much there so we appreciate them screaming and yelling. We're 4-1 and getting ready for Arkansas.
On putting Dylan Thompson in the game
The decision was made during the week, not right then. I said after about the third possession we would put Dylan [Thompson] in. We opened the gates on him twice. He didn't have a chance. We messed up a couple of pass protections some how.
On Connor Shaw staying in the pocket tonight
Well, he ran a bunch early. He was on the sideline with me about the whole second half. I think we had one possession in the third and about two in the fourth and that was it. He played his normal game. He can stay in the pocket, and he can run out. Excellent touchdown there at the end ,and a heck of play on the two point conversion.
On letting big leads slip away
We're still winning, so that makes it not as tough. We don't like it, but if that's who we are that's the kind of team we're going to be all year it looks like. We're going to try and change it though. I'm not going to be negative today. I told myself I'm going to quit being negative. I hope I haven't been too negative, I've just been giving facts out. Our guys are trying - some of them are not trying the right way. They're doing their own crap, and I'm not going to mention any names, you all watched it. I think we will make some changes.
On the running game David Williams didn't get a chance to play. We were hoping if the game got reasonable and he could play a little bit, he would. It was good to see Pharoh Cooper come in. I think he's a ball player, a real ball player. We can put him in the shot gun and let him run. I think his time is coming here. There's a good chance he can be the punt returner and kick returner. I think he's a reliable player, good kid, and he does everything you ask. Look for Pharoh to be more involved with our team.
On the progress of the defense
We didn't give up any long passes, so that was progress. I thought they [Kentucky] would do better against us. I think they've got good players and good coaches. They play hard. Anytime a team plays hard and smart, and they play pretty smart, you're going to get a good test. We don't play real smart. We can't tackle very well. I don't know how you change that, but we'll keep working with them. Our guys are trying hard, and that's all you can say as a coach, just keep trying the best you can, and we'll put you in a position to play. We're happy with our players effort wise.
Defensive Coordinator Lorenzo Ward
On Jadeveon Clowney
We found out he wasn't playing right before the game. Coach Spurrier told him that he was having trouble running because his ribs were hurting. We will see if he'll be ready to play next week.
On late game defense
We're not going to live with the way we're playing, that's for sure. It gets frustrating. First series coming out of halftime I think we played well, but the follow-up series they took the ball up and scored. So we played a lot of zone coverage during that particular drive and then we changed our mindset that we were going to play man coverage. We blew a couple of man coverages and that's disappointing.
On reaction to Clowney's inability to play
I was totally surprised. Earlier in the day he went through walkthrough and he said he was hurting, but I thought he was going to play.
On Clowney's absence on the field
I don't think his absence had any effect really. When the guys found out he couldn't play they new someone would have to step up. We would love to have Jadeveon out there, but we have to put eleven players out on the field whether he is with us or not.
Connor Shaw QB Senior
On offense and atmosphere
It's never frustrating when you win. I couldn't be more proud of our guys on the offense. I thought we battled all through the night. One comment on the fans, I thought we had a great atmosphere from the first quarter and throughout the game, it's a big advantage for us.
On Starting after UCF Injury
It's my senior year and I didn't want to miss another game. I lived in the treatment this week and on Sunday I was able to move around a little bit and on Monday I was able to toss it around. I just knew I was going to be able to play this week.
On the second half
I wouldn't say it was stressful. It always gets a little chaotic during games at one point or another, but that's every Saturday.
On staying in the pocket
I try to stay in the pocket whenever I can. I knew I had a shoulder injury so I couldn't take any unnecessary shots like I sometimes do. Coach Spurrier worked with me during the week on staying in the pocket and I tried to as much as I could.
On 89 yard drive
Kentucky didn't stop us all night. We had confidence that they wouldn't, that was the mentality we had on the 89-yard drive and we just went to work. I think we only punted it once so it was a strong night for us.
Damiere Byrd WR Junior
On the offense slowing down in second half
We came out strong. That is what we want to do every game, but we know that the game is four quarters long. We expected it to be a dogfight, and that is what it was.
On taking the place of injured wide receiver Shaq Roland
When somebody is out, somebody has to step into that role. Right now, that is what I am doing, trying to make big plays for the team. Whatever I have to do to make those plays, that is what I will do.
On his touchdown catch
It was a great throw by Connor Shaw. We got the coverage that we wanted. He threw it out there, and I was able to go get it.
Mike Davis TB Sophomore
On building a first-half lead in multiple games only to see it evaporate in the second half
It is kind of frustrating. We just have to work on that as a team. We probably will have to work a little bit harder in practice. It's a team effort, but we will get through it.
On given the opportunity to run out the clock
I am proud of myself. That shows me that Spurrier trusts me with the ball in my hand.
On if he expected to have this much success before the season began
Yes, I expected it, but not the type of numbers I have been putting up now. The more and more I play, the more the game slows down.
I have been working hard in the weight room, outside running with guys. My coach expected me to have success.
Kelcy Quarles DT Junior
On his game performance and improvement throughout the season
I felt like today was a real good game for me. There is always room for improvement though. I felt like I played hard tonight, felt like I gave it my all. Every game now, I am making improvements and that is what it is all about, making improvements every game.
On not having Jadeveon Clowney playing tonight
You all know Jadeveon is a great player, a game changer. I feel like that is what you come to college for, to always have someone behind you ready to play. So we missed him out there, but we still went out there and took care of business. That is what you get recruited to come to college for, one man goes down and another man steps up, at any position.
Head Coach Mark Stoops
Very emotional and disappointed with that loss. Some things played out like they thought they would, and we have talked about them all week. We knew that they would start fast here at home. They're a team that can get you off-balance, strike very quickly, and they did that early. I was proud of our team because they didn't flinch, took their best shot, and battled back to have an opportunity to make plays to win the game in the fourth quarter. I was proud of the fact that we're in the position to do that, but very frustrated that we didn't make the plays. Our players showed a lot of toughness and character, and I was proud of them for that.
On play of quarterback Jalen Whitlow
We understand he's not perfect. He missed a few throws here and there, but you saw a couple of good runs. That dimension in his game adds some things to the offense, and that was good to see. When he can do that, it adds pressure to the defense and it allows us to pick up our tempo. It can be a good threat, and it was good to see him play like that tonight.
On fighting back and being in the game towards the end
It's a good thing to see, but we've got to prepare and go fight [from the start]. We play a tough schedule, and it's not easy coming in and playing South Carolina at home. If we prepare better and play to the best of our ability, I can live with whatever the result is.
On the play of South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw
I thought you've got to give credit to that young man because he is very tough. He made some critical runs at the end and made some great decisions. That all comes with his experience and toughness."
Jalen Whitlow QB Sophomore
On getting into a rhythm and fearing switch of quarterbacks
It's always good to get into a rhythm. No, (the coaches switching quarterbacks) it's not my business, I just go out there and try to make plays.
On the takeaways from the game
Even though it's a loss, you have to take positives (away from the game). You know, we were close - just a couple more plays. Ninety thousand people, top-ranked team, you know, we gave them all they wanted. We just got a couple more plays here and there, a couple more better decisions, we are getting close, getting better.
Avery Williamson LB Senior
On positives from being very close to a win at the end
You can take a little bit from it, you know it still hurts to lose a game, we had it and I just felt like we missed some key opportunities.
On what it felt like after the Gamecocks scored three quick touchdowns
We just told ourselves we can't get down, and we've got to go in there and fix what we messed up on and we came out and we played with those guys. You know it's just simple things, a little bit of confusion in the first half and we just had to come out and put some things on the board and fix it. But we didn't get down in that first half, we didn't get down, and we knew we were going to come out and play those guys better.
Jojo Kemp RB Freshman
On getting better
Yeah, we just have to come out with our head on fire and just keep rolling, so we can start strong and we don't have to keep rushing to get things done. We need to come out fast, eliminate little mistakes and once the little mistakes go, the big things will happen.
On what Coach Brown said at halftime
Keep your head up, it's still 0-0, so we went out and kept fighting.
Ryan Timmons WR Freshman
On his touchdown and hoping on coming back to win
Yeah, I mean we had full confidence in our team. You know if our defense could have made that stop, we had the opportunity to win the game.
On takeaways from the loss and how well they played after getting down early
A lot of encouragement for next week, you know we have a great team coming in Alabama next weekend, but I think this game gave us a lot of confidence. It's a great crowd, you know, a lot of great defense and this is a great team that we play. I think this is going to help us build to get ready for another great team next week.