Aug. 24, 2008
Head Coach Steve Spurrier met with the media on Sunday afternoon to preview the Gamecocks' Thursday night season-opening contest with North Carolina State. That contest will kickoff at 8:01 p.m. ET and will be televised nationally on ESPN.
Coach Spurrier Quotes:
I believe our team is pumped up and eager to play our best on Thursday night. I know our fans are. Over these years I've really grown to appreciate the Carolina fans. They get tremendously excited this time of year because they have hope that maybe something really good can happen. Hopefully we will have the team to give them hope and results. We have hope good things are going to happen.
(Differences between this year's team and past teams)
We have more athletes ready to play than in times before. We don't talk like we're going to tear them up. We don't know. This year we have better speed, strength and athletes. We have a quarterback who is an unknown. He has the capability to make excellent decisions. We have to wait to see how he does. We have confidence he can play well.
In preseason practice we did scrimmage quite a bit for the first team quarterback. He (Beecher) made some mistakes in some practices, but improved as we went. He hasn't played a lot in games. We have to wait and see when live action starts this Thursday. Hopefully our offensive line will have their best year. (Jariel) King is the only newcomer. They do a super job in the offseason of conditioning. The success of the offense depends on the guys up front.
(On the ACC)
The ACC is a good league. I know the SEC has gotten a lot of praise throughout the offseason. Obviously the teams that play against the SEC will get pumped against us because of that. I see us and NC State as pretty even right now.
(On success of NC State head coach Tom O'Brien)
His teams at Boston College were good. That team came close to winning the conference championship last year. Most guys that were on that team were guys that he had recruited and trained. His style of played with only a few mistakes. He likes to run the ball. Boston College has won their last eight bowl games. He won six or seven of them. At NC State, they've turned the corner and they're a good looking team. His teams don't play with a bunch of mistakes. His players play with good discipline and within the rules. We're trying to get that established here.
You don't know what you've got until you go play. We're trying to stay a little under the radar with not talking too big. We'll let our play on the field do the talking that needs to be said. I don't know if we have a good team right now or an average team. I don't know yet. We'll have to wait until Thursday. We`ve done a lot of things different, but we'll just have to go see this Thursday night.
(Going into this season following the way last season ended)
Well I believe what Vince Lombardi said. Winning breeds more winning and unfortunately losing does the same. We need to break that habit. Our guys played pretty hard the last few games. They made a lot of errors on assignments. We're going to try to limit that a little more this season.
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