Oct. 8, 2013
Junior wide receiver Bruce Ellington
On the offense
Over the summer we were working hard with the quarterbacks and the running, so everything just transferred over from the summer. You just continue to build as a team, and you know the chemistry that we have in the summer is coming along.
You know he was a corner when he first got here, I saw that he was an athlete. He told me that he played free safety, cornerback, you know the same position I played in high school so I knew he was an athlete – coach just put him in and he did what he had to do, ran the ball well, he blocked well. I think he has a bright future here at USC.
Freshman wide receiver Pharoh Cooper
On the possibility of starting kick return and punt return on Saturday
I feel great about (the possibility), I feel blessed to have the opportunity to eventually start back there or have the chance to start back there. Yesterday at practice I did rep with the first team punt return, being that Vic (Hampton) was out. I’m just going to keep working hard to get on the field some more.
On expectations coming to campus
Well, when I first came here, I was working back in high school to be a defensive back, that’s what I got recruited for so I was doing all these defensive drills, getting ready to play defensive back. Coach Spurrier saw me catching punts, and he said he wanted me to be on the offense side of the ball.
Senior quarterback Connor Shaw
On losing road games
I think it has a lot to do with the competition. We had to go to LSU, had to go to Florida last year, so we’ve faced some great competition on the road so far and it will be a challenge for us again and it’s a challenge we are ready to embrace.
On Fayetteville being a tough place to play
Well, I think we are pretty fortunate it’s a Noon game. Obviously, playing on the road at night can be a little bit harder. I remember my sophomore year going there it was pretty difficult playing there. It’s a great atmosphere, their fans will be ready, so it will be a fun game for us.
On his shoulder after Kentucky
You are going to have the day after (the game) soreness a little bit, but not more than any other game.
I think everybody else is letting it become a distraction. Our team doesn’t feel that way at all, it doesn’t faze us at all. I think it is just that everybody surrounding it is making it a big deal. All I know is Clowney has helped us win a lot of games and he will in the future as well. I just think that it’s more of a big deal around everybody else than to us.
Head Coach Steve Spurrier
First of all, let’s talk about Jadeveon (Clowney) briefly. Jadeveon has a muscle strain near his rib area that caused him to miss the game last week against Kentucky. He was in pain and it was diagnosed later and obviously, we all handled it poorly, all of us did. The proper procedure and protocol when a player is hurt, he tells the (athletic) trainer or doctor, ‘Hey, I can’t go, this thing is hurting, there’s too much pain,’ and the trainer tells me, the head coach, he’s out, he’s not playing and I say, ‘OK, he’s out, he’s not playing.’ Simple as that. But we all didn’t do that and it caused some confusion, we didn’t know he wasn’t suiting up until a little later, so we didn’t handle it well.
Let me say this about Jadeveon: if he never plays another snap here, we all should be thankful and appreciative that he came to South Carolina. We’ve won 26 games, two 11-2 years, the greatest seasons we’ve had in the history of this school, 120 years. So, none of us need to be upset at Jadeveon, none of us. He’s played his part tremendously; I think we are 26-5 since he suited up for South Carolina. And I am all for Jadeveon and his future and when he’s ready to play; we are going to put him out there. He’s been coming to treatment, I think twice a day, he’s doing everything he can to get ready to play, so I just want to clear the air that Jadeveon, all those No. 7 jerseys, all the money he’s made for our school, he’s been a tremendous, important player and we all, every Gamecock, including me, and the coaches and everybody out there, we need to be appreciative that he chose South Carolina. He could have gone anywhere in the country and he’s a big reason that we’ve had those seasons and he’s trying to do all he can to get ready to play. So we all handled it poorly, all of us and when I make a comment about ‘a player doesn’t have to play, if he doesn’t want to’ that really goes to any player, Connor Shaw, Bruce Ellington, and if for some reason any player doesn’t want to play, then as coaches we don’t say you have to play. That’s something coaches don’t do and this was a situation that he had something that was really bothering him, hopefully it will be taken care of soon. Hopefully, we can all move along about our business and be thankful and appreciative that Jadeveon Clowney is a South Carolina Gamecock.
Arkansas’ a good team that has sort of had some fourth quarter struggles a little bit like we have except we’ve managed to hang on and win some of our fourth quarter struggles and they’ve lost their last three in a row, I think they’re 3-3 right now, something like that. But they are a good team and they are going to try to run it down your throat. Bret Bielema, their coach, he’s a hard-nosed, tough guy who believes in running the ball, controlling the clock and that’s what they are going to try and do. It will be a big challenge if we can line up and take their best shot, because that’s sort of the way they play football and it’s going to be important that we can run the ball the way we’ve been capable and hopefully, continue running and mixing in passes and so forth.
Most of our guys are in pretty good health and we are hoping to improve, hoping to get better in the fourth quarter, haven’t been very good, but we’ve managed to hang on and win some ball games. So, it should be a good one out there!
On going into a game where both teams run the ball
It doesn’t matter who you play (or how you do it), the object is to get more points than the other team. There are all kind of ways to do it, as we all know. We’re a team of few possessions, we had eight last week and Kentucky had eight, and so, the game moves faster that way. But again, there’s all kind of ways to win, you can try to beat the other guy 55-50 or you can try to beat him 24-21.
On Clowney’s injury
We will know later in the week, but he is getting treatment and doing everything he can to get ready to play, so we’ll know later in the week.
On the offense
Well we are running the ball decent and throwing decent and making some third downs, I think we’re at 52 percent third downs now, we were in the 30s until the last couple of games, I think. We are scoring touchdowns, instead of kicking field goals most of the time, although the two field goals were very instrumental last week.
On Kaiwan Lewis
Kaiwan had an infection in his leg. They took him to the hospital last night, IV’ed him up, gave him some antibiotics. I don’t know how he’ll be by Thursday or so, but yeah, he had to get some antibiotics in him.
On the trick to playing well in road games
Just try to go play. The environment sometimes gets on you a little bit, obviously when we played defense against Georgia, we talked about that, but they scored seven and six here (at Williams-Brice Stadium) the last two times, scored in the 40s both times there. It is a difference, but if you go play well and bring your defense with you, you’ve got a chance to win on the road.
Yeah, I think he needs to get out there more. Pharoh, we think is a good player.
On playing Arkansas in Fayetteville
Well, the other team has played a lot better than we have, that’s probably the biggest reason. They have always scored a bunch of points on us out there it seems like, most of the time, except for that ’05 game we won, so hopefully we can bring a defense.
On Vic Hampton
Vic has a quad bruise, should be okay for the game.
On Condoleezza Rice on the College Football Selection Committee
She is an honest, fair person, I think. I think she’s probably as good as anybody (to be on the committee.
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