Head Coach Steve Spurrier met with the media Tuesday afternoon to preview Saturday's SEC-opener against Georgia. The Gamecocks and Bulldogs will kick off at 12 p.m. on ESPN.
South Carolina Head Coach Steve Spurrier
We got the Georgia Bulldogs coming in at noon on ESPN, a nationally televised game. (There are) a lot of TV games this week as always. Hopefully this is first of a lot of big games for us. Obviously the team that wins the game is off to a good start in the Eastern division of the SEC. We have them at home we played pretty well at home. We need for that to continue to give us a chance to beat these guys. They're a very good team. They had a good open game against Louisiana-Lafayette last week. Their defense was outstanding. The offense played well also. It's a typical Georiga team: very good and seem to be playing with a lot more fire on defense than they have last year or two.
We have to play well, but we're looking forward to it. We're looking healthy right now. It should be heckuva game. I'm looking forward to what happens out here Saturday afternoon.
On if Georgia is South Carolina's biggest SEC rival
They're probably our biggest rival, especially in the SEC East. Either them or Tennessee. We haven't beaten Tennessee or Florida enough, or Georgia enough, to call them a big rival. Anyway, it's a crucial game because it's within our eastern division. If u have hopes of winning the division, you have to beat divisional teams. This is one of those games.
On Dion Lecorn moving to defense
There's not a lot to talk about. Dion was third or fourth at wide receiver. Some young guys came on well (like) Ace (Sanders) and so forth. He made the suggestion he wanted to play and help the team. Coach Beamer has him at the spur position. Hopefully he'll be committed to learning the defense and helping us play over there.
On Brian Maddox listed on the early depth chart at fullback
He started the game last week (at fullback). He and Marcus (Lattimore) were in the two-back set. (Patrick) Dimarco is probably listed at tight end. He can play fullback also. We have players that can play both positions in there.
On winning the season opener by a large margin
I don't know how it feels (any) differently. We usually struggled every opener. We didn't struggle as badly against Southern Miss as we usually do. I don't know what that means. We had good breaks here and there. We were 5-for-5 in redzone scoring. They were 2-for-6. We were scoring when we had chances, and they messed up a bunch. We're trying to make a lot of corrections on errors we made in the game and see if we can play our best this week.
On preparing for the Georgia defense
It is a 3-4 formation, but it's a four-down lineman (formation) also. I think even their defensive coach would tell you its not a big deal whether three guys have a hand on the ground or four. They're very active. They'd defensive ends are active around the edges. They're a pressure defense. By that I mean all their guys are rushing. It will be a big challenge for our offensive line. We played decent last week. We didn't run the ball as extremely well as some thought. One reverse went 50-some yards and the quarterbacks had about 80, but we need to block and run the ball to gives ourselves a chance this week.
On the defensive line
Our defensive line played pretty well last week. We didn't get as many sacks as we hoped to, but their quarterback was catching and throwing it quickly. Our defensive line played pretty well.
On how much of the offense was used last week
I don't know what percentage. We had a plot of plays we didn't run, which we'll have after this game too. We hope not to have a new offense every week. You have to run what your guys have been running. We had certain plays we try to run from different looks.
On playing Georgia in close games historically
Rehashing those games doesn't do any good. We've not been successful, but we know a lot other games we have been successful in games that come down to the wire. We won't dwell on that this week. If we play our best we know we can play with Georgia. That's all we know. To beat them we have to play better. We can't have touchdowns called back. We can't have those mistakes that cost us in prior games. We'll try to play the game and concentrate on what we need to do. We hope that gives us best chance to compete at the highest level and best chance to win the game. Prior games have no bearing on this one.
On Ace Sanders
He reminds me a little of Kenny McKinley, (but) not quite as tall. Straight ahead speed, I don't know if he's faster than Kenny or not, but he has the quickness Kenny had. Ace is a good player. He's our backup holder. He can run punts back or kickoff's if we ask him to do that. We're trying to find ways to get him on the field more. We need to utilize his talents more than we did the last game.
On if there is now a market for small, speed guys
I think so. Now with the spread offense and the formations people use, it turned into a speed game - a game of quickness. There is definitely a place for fast, small guys that love to play football. They have to be tough also. Ace is a pretty tough kid. You see a lot of smaller players at all the schools that spread out and throw the ball around. Speed is more important than size. You need big guys up front, but they need to move also.
On Stephen Garcia's running
We tell him not to lead with his head. I wish he would duck a little bit and not lead with his head. He's trying to get his shoulders more into it. Obviously Stephen needs to run occasionally. Not a lot, but if you run the spread offense, you're quarterback has to keep it every now and then. We encourage him to run, but we encourage him to try and find a hole in there and fall forward.
On the team's focus this week
Our linebackers played pretty well last week. They have to continue to play and tackle well. Georgia is returning to the way they played in years past. (They) run the ball and play great defense. That's a great recipe for success. The one thing that concerns us this week is our special teams play. Georgia won their bowl game against Texas A&M with a whole bunch of returns. We have to cover kicks, punts and kickoffs. Our special teams play has to be very good this week. Our last game we covered kickoff's very well. We didn't cover the punts too well. We only had two that counted so we only punted twice, but they averaged about 15 yards a return. That's a concern. Georgia plays well on special teams, so we have to be on our toes there.
On Georgia redshirt freshman quarterback Aaron Murray
He's been there a while, longer than Connor Shaw has been here. He's been there long enough to not be a freshman type guy. He's ready to play. He's a good player. We watched him on tape. He can run around some and knows what he's doing. He's been there enough to know exactly what they're doing. He has good players around him. That's what helps all quarterbacks.
On TJ Johnson
TJ made SEC Offensive Lineman of the Week. That must have been some good talking someone did in here (to get him nominated). He played pretty well. He basically got the game ball because his snaps were so good. They were good snaps. If you watch the games all weekend, you can see if that guy can't snap it to the guy in shotgun, they won't do so well.
On the possibility of Georgia's A.J. Green not playing
Our defense will prepare as if he's not there or if he's there. We haven't talked to Coach Johnson about it yet. I'm sure if he doesn't play there are certain coverages you might use more than others. Other than that, we have to stop their run game. They have other good receivers too. We have to go out and play football (and) play as hard as we can with few mistakes. That's what we need to worry about. Some guy can get hurt at practice this week on either team, so (worrying about specific players is) something you can't concern yourself about.