Oct. 27, 2007
South Carolina Coach Steve Spurrier
"It was a good game for television, I guess, but it wasn't a very good game for us. We had our chances but we weren't good enough to win the game tonight. You have to give Tennessee credit for kicking the field goal in overtime and we couldn't make one. They tried to fumble it to us a couple of times on their last drive but we couldn't get either one of them. We couldn't cover the kickoff very well to pin them back in there. They outplayed us and they won the game. You have to give them credit.
"The first half we weren't very good. We roughed the kicker, had stupid, careless penalties and a fumble. We weren't real smart and weren't real good at times. We had a pretty good second half but it didn't work.
"We played just good enough to lose that's about how well we played. We made some yards and hit some passes but in the clutch we didn't hit crap and we got beat. We played just good enough to get our butts beat."
Blake Mitchell, QB
"It's disappointing we were down, we fought back and gave ourselves a chance it just came up a little short. The offense in the second half was there it was just a matter of hitting things and taking what they gave us and I think we did a decent job of that. We ran the ball pretty well and the offensive line a pretty good job, we just shot ourselves in the foot in the first half.
"We have to comeback strong. We showed we could come from behind. We just have to go out there and learn to finish."
Ryan Succop, PK
"The first kick the team did a great job and put us in position and the Lord blessed us to go out there and make the kick. The second kick, we have to thank God for the position that I was in, it was just unfortunate that I couldn't make it. It just came off my foot a little to the right. Everybody is pretty upset but we can't hang our heads from here, we have to get going on and get ready for Monday's practice."
Tennessee Coach Phillip Fulmer
"A wonderful team win by our football team. It wasn't pretty all the time, but it was a darn fine effort. This team has a really great spirit about it--a great-effort team. They're fun to be around. They've been very responsive to us as coaches.
"Before the game today, we wanted to clear the air about a couple things, and I thought they listened magnificently. They really focused on what we asked them to do. It was almost comical, actually, at a very serious time when we were getting ready to take the Vol Walk, we had a nice laugh about the grim reaper being at my house here at Halloween. They didn't know whether to laugh at first or not. But they finally broke up and broke the ice.
"A lesser team with a lesser spirit and a lesser will would have lost that game tonight.
"The kickoff-return team, and obviously (LaMarcus) Coker's play to get us into position to get the first down obviously was huge. Daniel Lincoln was huge. Erik Ainge wasn't at his best tonight, but he had enough to get it done.
On Daniel Lincoln: "He's been wonderful to coach. You don't know what Daniel has been through. I was unmerciful to him in the spring. I think, obviously, he's got a very great future. And the best thing about it is he's a football player. He's a tough guy.
"Somebody said on television that the next thing we have to look forward to is signing day and the (NFL) draft. That's stupid. That's just stupid. That's someone who has no idea what Tennessee football is about.
"We control our own destiny right now ... 100 percent ... nobody else."
Erik Ainge, QB
"Man. How about (Daniel Lincoln) winning the game? A lot of things had to go right for us to win. You had the two fumbles, the best kicker in the league had to miss, and he did. A lot of things we had called, they had the one defense called that could stop it, so you have to credit their defensive coordinator.
"We're first in the East. That's the first thing that went through my mind. This league is crazy, and we're back in it. We're right back to where we were two weeks ago. There are a lot of good teams. We've been fortunate to win some big games and have some other (teams) lose.
"I didn't play great tonight, but our defense and special teams stepped up and won the football game for us.
"Lucas Taylor is out there playing with turf toe. Most guys take two to four weeks off if they get turf toe. He's out there hobbling all week (in practice) and then plays like he did ... we've got a lot of warriors on this football team that will give us everything they have."
Daniel Lincoln, PK
On his thoughts when he got a second chance to kick a field goal and force overtime: "I need to take advantage of that next opportunity ... that next kick.
"There will be a lot of talk about the two field goals, but the kick return by LaMarcus (Coker) was huge.
"On the first kick, I heard the whistle and decided to hit it. Casey (Woods) had started to pull the ball up as I kicked it. We haven't not finished a rep all year, so I finished it."
Jonathan Hefney, FS
"This was a big time game, and we came out and did what we had to do to get the `W.' I'm so happy right now."
On if the game was true freshman defensive back Eric Berry's "coming-out party": "He's been out the whole year--ever since he got here. He's Eric Berry. He's wasn't the top recruit in the nation for no reason."
Robert Ayers, DE
"It's like coach always says, it's the preparation that gets us ready for situations like this. Johnny Long--one of the best strength coaches in the nation--he pushes us to limits we don't even know we can go to.
"In the SEC, it's hard to get a break. You've got to take advantage of it when you do it."
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