Sept. 20, 2011
Head Coach Steve Spurrier met with the media Tuesday afternoon to preview Saturday's SEC home game against Vanderbilt. The Gamecocks and Commodores will kick off at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.
GAMECOCK FOOTBALL PRESS CONFERENCES
September 20, 2011
South Carolina Head Coach Steve Spurrier
To open up, all the SEC coaches this week and a lot of coaches around the country are wearing patches in support of finding a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. We do it once a year and this is the game this week. With us is Woody Moore and his son Logan. Logan suffers from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and it looks like he's doing well now. We're glad to have Logan with us here today. Hopefully we can raise a lot of money this week to fight muscular dystrophy.
On playing Vanderbilt
A big ball game this week with Vanderbilt. Vandy comes in probably as upbeat and ready to play as they've ever been since I've been here. They're 3-0 just like us. Statistically, defensively they're one of the best in the conference in nearly every category. I think they lead the nation in interceptions. They have 10 interceptions and three for touchdowns. Their offense has played very efficiently. They run the ball and pass at a pretty good mixture. We're looking forward to the game to see if we can play better this year. We'll see if we can become the team that we were advertised to be in the preseason. We haven't done it yet but we have hopes and beliefs that we can play better football. We'll find out this Saturday night at 7pm when Vandy comes to Williams-Brice. Our fans were super loud last week and we'll need you to be loud this week. Hopefully we can play our best. Hopefully we'll have new players (playing). Victor Hampton is going to play. We may bring some other guys along to give them a chance to play also. We'll wait and see how all that plays out when we play Vanderbilt this week.
On NCAA allegations
The three allegations that were written up of course involved the Whitney Hotel and booster involvement. They did mention one of our coaches, G.A. Mangus, not that he broke any rules, but he had a prior relationship with those guys in the Philly and New Jersey area. That's why his name was mentioned. I'm asked to go to the meeting because I'm the head coach. I went to one in 1990. When I got to Florida, they were under investigation. We went out to Colorado Springs. When it was over with they said we had one violation. They said the coach paid a $360.40 child support payment for Jarvis Williams. That was the only thing they said we did wrong. That was the one violation, and the 1990 Florida team that won the SEC was not allowed to be called the SEC champions. That's how it works sometimes. I hope we're not in serious trouble. You work things out and do what they say, and that's what our university is doing. I think the last team to go there was Boise State. I don't think it's embarrassing to get a letter. Some stuff can happen and unfortunately it happened. We'll try to handle it the best we can.
We haven't played very well. That's all you can say. Hopefully we start playing better. Until we do it's just all hope. We all keep reading about all these NFL guys we have on defense, but we're not stopping people. Statistically we're near the bottom in everything. We need to do it on the field. We need to have a good defensive game this week. Offensively we're sputtering around. I don't think we can run Marcus (Lattimore) every play this week. It's about timing. If we're going to be a good team, it's about time we start looking like one.
On playing close games
We've played similarly every game. We keep thinking it's all going to come together. It hasn't quite yet but we're 3-0. That's a good sign that we've won a couple of games being behind in the 4th quarter. I don't think that's happened around here so we're doing some things. It's the first time in my coaching career that I've won back to back 3-point games. In 26 years (coaching) ever. I'm happy about that. Who knows if this will be a 3-pointer.
On if he thinks about holding Marcus Lattimore back during games
When the game is going on you don't think about the end of the year. You think about that game. He's healthy and ready to go this game. If he gets banged up a bit, the next game we won't give him 30 (carries). But we don't go into the game thinking he's going to run 35 or 40 times. But when things start happening in the passing game, you wonder why in the world are those guys trying to pass. So you end up running, running, running trying to win the game.
On wide receivers
D.L. Moore says he's healthy now so he practiced last night. He's back on the squad. We did throw sideways. (Navy) played a big deep zone. It was hard to get behind Navy. They made up their mind that you wont get behind them ... so the quick screen out there was our best play.
On the play of the team
It is what it is. We are what we are. We're trying to get better. We think we can turn it around and be the defense or offense we thought we could be. Special teams wise, we played well against East Carolina and we've regressed after that.
I admire those guys. I hope someday we can build a tradition like those schools have. I don't know if you saw their equipment van parked outside here. It said "NAVY" and "Where Tradition Never Graduates". Those guys are expected to play a certain way every year. They just follow that tradition. It's just passed on. Watching them on tape you admire the way they play. We almost threw the game away with a false start. Our center didn't hear the snap count. We had a 3rd-and-2 and it goes to 3rd-and-7. Then we miss a block. I asked our guys did you say Navy get any false starts. They don't play like that. Maybe we need to simplify and do something better to get our guys to play like champions play. We haven't done it yet, but we have hopes we can do it this week, play without stupid penalties and forth.
On Marcus Lattimore
Marcus wants the ball obviously. Obviously the game's we've been playing lately, if we don't stay out there run up the clock and consume the yards (we won't do well). We can't go three (plays) and punt. We know that. We have to do our part and stay on the field. Really the game last week, if we don't screw up the two redzone chances, we would've been OK in the game. But we didn't. We're fortunate we won the game. We could've lost with some careless penalties. We'll try not to have those again.
On his comfort level when kickers make consecutive kicks
Anytime it's a 48- or 49-yarder, as a coach it's a bonus if he makes it. If he doesn't, well you gave it a shot and you move on. Jay (Wooten) has made two in a row. He's 2-for-2. That was the difference in both games. He's a very valuable player for us without a doubt, Jay Wooten. ... if it's a field goal opportunity you usually give the guy a shot. Ryan Succop missed four out of give at Kentucky two or three years ago. We still gave him a shot at the end of the game. He got better after that. He was just in a slump.
Our intangibles are not very good right now. I wish we had a little bit more senior leadership. I wish we had more guys accountable to each other. We're working on that and maybe we can put it together this week.
On what the team needs to improve
If we're going to be competitive this year, we need to improve in about every facet. Hopefully we will this week. Hopefully our defense will have a different plan in place in making sure our guys know their assignments and not confuse them on every play. We've simplified our defense so guys shouldn't be running wide open like against Navy. Hopefully we'll just let our guys go play. If we're not any good then we're not any good. Just don't blow assignments (and) make sure we don't' beat ourselves.
On Vanderbilt Head Coach James Franklin
I think he's an excellent coach. I don't know him very well. I met him at the meetings and he seems like a very good guy. He's a sharp guy. I've heard their players say this coaching staff makes it fun for them. That's what you're supposed to do. The players are out there having fun playing the game. That what we try to tell our guys. And the way you have fun is you play the right way. You don't make stupid mistakes, jumping offsides.
On the one-year anniversary of Kenny McKinley's death
It was difficult. We handled all that last year. After you handle it, it's time to move on. We still talk about him every now and then. When we're running slants I tell the guys here's how Kenny ran it. I don't even remember him being covered because he had that quick step that got him open. We're trying to teach our guys to run that also. We'll remember Kenny. He was an outstanding player here also.
They returned eight starters from lat year I read. We struggled with them down there last year at Vandy. They play the coverages that most teams play. They disguise well with a zone blitz. You look at them on tape and guys are in position. They play fundamentally sound. That's why they're playing well right now. It will be good challenge for us no doubt about it. They're playing with a lot of confidence and a lot of fire. We'll see if we can match it.