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South Carolina vs. Kentucky Post-Game Quotes

 

Oct. 8, 2011

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 SOUTH CAROLINA QUOTES

Head Coach Steve Spurrier

Opening Statement
It was a good game for us. A lot of guys got to play which is important. Connor (Shaw) had a lot of good plays. A few plays we could've done better, but Connor played well and threw the ball well. We finally threw a few touchdown passes. It was a good win for us. The defense was outstanding. The defense kept getting it back and getting it back. Kentucky has a heckuva punter I know that. We kept getting the ball back and back, and that's why we had 91 plays. We had a balanced attack. We got over 600 yards. We haven't done it much. Marcus (Lattimore) had a solid game. It was a fun game because everyone got to play. Finally got Damiere Byrd a completion. It's taken a while to get him one. It was a good win for us.

On the open offensive game plan
It was just time to call some plays and see what happened. We felt confident we could execute these plays. We still missed a lot of them. We missed deep balls here and there. Anyway it was time to put that spread, we call that a spread, and it did open it up. It was something different instead of the same basic play. It did help us a little bit.

On Connor Shaw
He was ready to play. Connor has been here two years. He's been practicing. He practiced well this week. He was sharper in practice than he was today. We had a lot of good plays called, and he threw them perfectly. That's the result we got. He missed a few. We have a chance to play better the more he plays.

On playing Kentucky's defense
LSU, they didn't move the ball much on Kentucky. I didn't know if we could or not. I just knew we had to try.

On the game
Hopefully we just believe we can play now. We know we have to keep firing at the end zone. We had an opportunity to do that some today and get the ball to Marcus (Lattimore). We still didn't block as well as we're capable. Gosh Kentucky only made six first downs. That's the story right there. Under 100 yards, that will help our defensive stats. We helped our offensive stats today.

On throwing to Alshon Jeffery
We wanted to throw it at him. He ran some good routes. He was open a bunch. We didn't hit him every time he was open.

On spreading the ball around
We've been trying to get more guys involved. I guess the games have been so tight and close you're scared to try this, that and the other, so you hand off to Marcus (Lattimore) and try to let the defense win it for you. We need to open it up and try to utilize more of our guys.

On Justice Cunningham
Justice had an excellent day. Give Justice a little praise. I heard one of our coaches say he may hustle more than any guy on offense. He blocks, he blocks and he blocks. Then he catches some passes and he blocks some more. I bet he played 50 plays. It's amazing. We do play two tight ends a lot. No one thinks we do, but he and Buster (Rory Anderson) were out there a whole bunch.

On South Carolina's defense
We played well last week versus Auburn but they still made 11 third downs on us or else they wouldn't have had near as much as they had. Today and Vandy were the two dominant (games). We have to carry this on. I know we can't dominate everyone we play. The defense is playing well after a rough start. I think we're hitting our stride now hopefully for the stretch run as we go. We're in position. Hopefully that loss to Auburn, after it's all said and done, it will be who beats who in the division. We did beat Georgia. Georgia looks strong. They may not lose another one, so we'll see.

On Melvin Ingram
Melvin should be fine next game. He could have played today. He went out there and ran around a bit. The (athletic) trainer said he can play if y'all need him badly. We had him on reserve, in case it got real tight ... [After being told Melvin played in the game] he did? I thought his uniform was clean. I came to him after the game and said guess what Melvin, you aren't getting a game ball today. But his uniform was pretty clean.

On Bruce Ellington
Ace (Sanders) was the starting flanker. (Bruce) came in and played here and there. It was a great run. He hit the corner and took off. We were trying to figure out what to run. I think Coach Elliott said lets play him back there and run the sweep. It looked like he'd make eight or 10 yards and the next thing I know he's gone. Those are the kind of plays you need in close games to make it exciting.

Sophomore QB Connor Shaw

On what helped him today
My patience, that's what coaches tell players, just be patient and be ready when your number is called on. I felt like I prepared a lot this week. Patience is a virtue in this.

On if he was nervous before the game
I was a little anxious. I had a week of preparation and it made me feel good coming into this game. It's a good game for us. It's a division game.

On what worked for the offense
We had a really good game plan as far as different formations and strategies. They do a lot of things on defense, and I thought we did a really good job preparing this week for it.

On going to Alshon Jeffery early in the game
It just gets the offense in rhythm. It gets him in rhythm. A sophomore quarterback coming in without much game experience, you have to get the ball to him early and often. It helped my confidence.

On being called on to do more than throw the ball
We worked on it in practice. I'm familiar playing receiver, blocking, running the ball and throwing the ball. It was fun out there playing all these different positions.

On South Carolina's defense
It helped our o-line. We left some points on the board, but they gave us so many opportunities to go score. The offense is very appreciative of the defense.

On the difference between this start and the East Carolina start
In Charlotte I don't think I was as prepared as I was (today). They let me know early in the week (this time), so I just had a good mindset coming into it. My teammates were really helpful and the o-line came to me and said we have your back.

On if he's learned from Stephen Garcia
I learned a lot from Stephen and from watching Coach Spurrier critique me, Stephen and all the quarterbacks. They just harped on being patient and when your opportunity is called on to make the most of it.

On the touchdown pass to Justice Cunningham
I just tried to put it on him. When someone is wide open you panic a bit, but I thought I did a great job putting it on him and he had a great catch.

On what Stephen Garcia said to him during the game
Before the game he kept telling me positive things like good luck. I'd come off the field and he'd congratulate me and say keep your head in the game and stuff like that.

Assistant Head Coach Ellis Johnson

On being a blue collar defense
We got some players that could play for anybody, but we got a bunch of players who are blue collar for lack of a better word.

On forcing turnovers
We have forced turnovers all season. When we have a defense as fast as we are, if you play by assignment and stay in position you will get your share. I think what is really helping us right now is our pass rush, and we have blitzed very little over the past few weeks.

On the performance in tonight's game
One game doesn't make a season, and one season doesn't make a program. We are going to continue to work and improve.

Junior CB Stephon Gilmore

On Coach Ward's goal for 30 interceptions
We aren't trying to predict the future, and what ever happens, happens. But we are going to try and do it.

Senior CB C.C. Whitlock

On near record performance
We just got tired of being the downfall of the team. For the past two years, everybody was looking at us. We came together this summer and just decided we wouldn't be the downfall of the team anymore and that we would try to help the team as much as possible.

Junior TE Justice Cunningham

On Connor Shaw and the confidence they have in him after today
The team really started to come around Connor. He had really good practices this week, and everyone felt he would have a good game today.

On if he knew ahead of time that he would be a main part of the game plan
No, not really. You just have to find an open man, and it seemed that Connor did every time.

Freshman WR/QB Bruce Ellington

On his run
Coach told me he would put me in there and we would run 38 Q, so I got in there and the guys did a great job blocking. [Brandon] Wilds did a great job on the outside blocking the corner, and I just took it down the sideline.

Junior WR Alshon Jeffery

On getting the ball today
It was just us practicing. We ran a lot of plays this week, so we just try to keep it simple and I was just open.

Sophomore RB Marcus Lattimore

On offensive performance
That's going to be important for the rest of the season. We've got so many weapons out here, and I really don't think it was a change. We just decided we've got all this speed, we've got all this quickness out here and we've got to use it. We used it today, and you see what the score was.

 KENTUCKY QUOTES

Head Coach Joker Phillips

Opening Statement
Ugly is how you can describe it. Especially offensively, (we) had a chance to make a play early in the first half, wide open guy but threw it inside and [they] made an interception. [We have] an offense that can't make plays, can't stay on the field, an offense that turns the ball over six times, numerous times on first down. Which means your defense has to go right back on the field after just getting (off) there. Defense competed well at times, gave up way too many plays, which is hard to overcome. This group is a good football team, and you definitely can't turn the ball over six times and give up the type of big plays that we did defensively.

On whether he's out of answers on offense
The thing that we have is a much-needed two-week break to figure out those answers. We got to figure out our best personnel; we got to figure out our best schemes and rep them over and over and over again. Our passing game is a lost part of our game. That's one of the things that we have done around here really well. And we have yet to execute a passing game in the last couple games that's looked like one. I'm talking about protection, throwing and catching, all the things involved in throwing and catching the ball.

On how to keep the team's spirits up
They are college athletes. You got to do some of them your own, but they have to do a lot on their own also. The thing we have to do as coaches are give them better playing. Right now, our plans that we have put in front of them are not working obviously. So we have got to get them a better plan. As an athlete, no one can take your psyche. You have got to bounce back from a performance even like this.

On surprise about the offense's struggles
Very surprised. We came back from fall camp, and the word was defensively, we got to carry the load until the offense can find themselves and find who our playmakers are. Then we go into fall camp and thought we were better than we were. It just has not happened.

The injury report after a game like this, you'd think it would be long, but it's short.

Freshman RB Josh Clemons

On bouncing back from the loss
Just go out there and work hard in practice like we do every week and try and get some better results.

On whether there's a positive to take from the loss
We just got to stay together. Keep pushing and fighting together.

 

 

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