Sept. 25, 2012
COACH SPURRIER PRESS CONFERENCE
September 25, 2012
South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier
met with the media Tuesday afternoon to preview Saturday's SEC East road game against Kentucky. The Gamecocks and Wildcats will kick off at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.
"We are getting ready for another Eastern Division game against Kentucky. Almost every game we have had with them since I've been here is close except for last year. Last year we seemed to get ahead and our defense really stopped them. I don't know if they had 100 yards or so, but we generally have close games with Kentucky."
"They are a team that is very capable. I think we are better than them, but if we don't play better than them, they can certainly beat us. The team that usually plays the best wins the game. It's a huge game for us being a division game and hopefully we can go up there and play without some of the errors we had last week. Sometimes, you hopefully learn by your mistakes."
"We're on schedule right now. We are very healthy. Our (athletic) trainer, Clint Haggard, came in the other day and I said, 'Is everybody ready who was ready last week?' and he said, 'Yeah.' Everybody was fine. A player like Brandon Wilds, who played extremely well last year, if there is a chance to redshirt him, we may do that. Unless somebody gets hurt, Brandon will have another year to play and he is all for that, which is something that maybe hasn't always happened around here. Players actually look forward to being redshirted. They like playing for the University of South Carolina."
On the play of special teams last week
"We finally got an opportunity to return a kickoff. I think we were the only Division I team in the nation that had not had a kickoff return attempt. Bruce (Ellington) actually brought it from four or five yards deep and got a little bit of blocking there and then shook a guy or two."
"Joe Robinson is an excellent special teams coach. I think the players really enjoy playing for Coach Robinson and he does a super job. Special teams was a big part of the game last week."
On the 2010 loss at Kentucky
"I don't think we coached particularly well on offense or defense, and they did. Randy Sanders, their offensive coordinator, is an excellent offensive coach. Rick Minter, who was here at South Carolina (in 2004), he is an excellent coach."
"Personnel wise they might be a little below some of the SEC teams, but they are a well-coached (team)."
On quarterback Connor Shaw's 20 consecutive pass completions.
"The players caught everything, too, but Connor throws a catchable ball, he really does. Connor, I don't think he's big on individual things like that."
On Akeem Auguste's playing status
"He is practicing. He is going to try to do everything today according to the trainer and if he can practice all week he will be ready to play."
On the South Carolina defensive line
"We believe that we have as good a defensive line as anybody. Devin Taylor, Jadeveon Clowney, Kelcy Quarles, Chaz Sutton had a big game last week. All those guys can really play."
On the improvement of Chaz Sutton
"Coach Lawing just challenged him a little bit in preseason. He said, 'Chaz, you got a lot of ability, but you're sort of standing around watching when you're out there. Turn it loose and go.' Chaz started practicing a lot better, the last two, three weeks. (Coach Lawing and I) are alike in the fact that if you show us in practice you can play, you're going to get in the game. Chaz has certainly worked his way into a rotating situation there with Devin and Jadeveon. He will continue to play."
On T.J. Gurley
"T.J. was fine. He didn't have a whole bunch of opportunities. Missouri's sort of a short passing attack team. When you're a safety, sometimes you don't get a lot of action, which is good for your defense. He played well, he just didn't get a lot of opportunities. He's a good player."
On Ace Sanders
"Ace is fast and he can get open. He and Bruce (Ellington), they didn't get many balls thrown to them the other day. We're trying to figure out how to use more of our guys. We're still a work in progress on offense, trying to make sure we get the ball into our playmakers' hands. Ace is a playmaker, so is Bruce."