Steve Spurrier Weekly Press Conference

Oct. 28, 2009

Coach Spurrier
Shaq Wilson
Clifton Geathers
Head Coach Steve Spurrier met with the media Tuesday afternoon to preview Saturday's away game at Tennessee. The game against the Vols will kick off at 7:52 p.m. and will be broadcast by ESPN.

Opening Statement
We're getting ready to play Tennessee Vols at 7:45 Saturday in another ESPN game. I think we're ESPN's Saturday night team. We're getting in the habit of playing these games and look forward to it. Tennessee is a good team. They've been losing their close ones. All their losses have been very close games. They're a big, strong team like they usually are. They're third overall in defense behind Florida and Alabama in the conference. They rank ahead of us on offense also. We have to really play well. We have to play better. We don't play real smart and sharply at times. Hopefully we can put it all together because we need to play a good game. We're looking forward to it. It should be the biggest crowd of the year. A lot of our guys haven't played over there.

On Tennessee's defensive schemes
They play man to man and zone. They seem to be in good position all the time. I think Monte Kiffin is a guy that invented the "Tampa 2" defense. They don't play it quite as much as he did in the NFL, but they still play it a bit, mainly on third downs. He's got good players that are well coached. They play with a lot of effort. They're just another big, defensive, strong, fast team. Eric Berry is their playmaker guy. He can pick up more loose ball and interceptions than any guy in the country.

On creating turnovers
(Our coaches) just keep coaching. The other night we had Andrew Clifford, our backup quarterback, fire a few balls at the DB's. Maybe some faster balls coming at them; we're trying anything to get those guys to catch those (interceptions).

On the difference between last year's Tennessee team and this year's team
They were strong last year. Their defense was first in the conference. The offense really struggled last year. Their offense is very good with Monterio Hardesty, a big strong running back with a bunch of yards. Johnathan Crompton has played very well most of the games too. They're a good offensive team and defensive team. They have good special teams. That was sort of unusual (in Tennessee) having those kicks blocked last week. I don't remember Tennessee getting many kicks blocked the past few years.

On any difference now that Phillip Fulmer is no longer Tennessee's coach
I don't think it's much different. We just watch the tapes. We don't watch tapes of the coaches very often. We just try to see what they do and give our players a plan to be successful.

On third quarter production
For some reason we've done well in the third quarter of all our games. I don't know why it's worked out that way. It just appears to happen. But again, we haven't played as well as I think we can. All of our guys know that to beat some good teams that we'll start playing now, we have to be a lot sharper. We can't have all those stupid penalties we had last week.

On kickoff coverage
Coach Beamer may have one or two (changes) in there. We had two guys fall down right in the middle. Obviously that Vandy player was a lot faster than our guys when he got up the middle. We'll keep working on it. Tennessee has some fast guys. You hate to kick a grounder and have them start on the 35 or 40.

On Eric Berry
We just have to keep an eye on where he'll be. He's a safety that comes down near the line of scrimmage more often than not. He watches the quarterback and goes for interceptions. He's not shy from going for the ball. That's why he gets so many.

On Eric Norwood
Eric's an outstanding outside pass rusher as well as tackle behind the line of scrimmage guy. Hopefully our Eric Norwood will have a big defensive game this week. To do that, we have to put them in throwing situations.

On game plan
We approach this game like all of them. We try to get the best plan possible and get our players ready to play physically and emotionally. They're not No. 1 or 2 in the nation, but the probably could be if they won their close games. Talent-wise, they're a top 25 team. Again, we know we're a bit of an underdog going there which we should be. We have to play well to beat them. We're looking forward to it. We still haven't played up to our potential.

On the end of the season opponents
We should be pretty even with Arkansas and Tennessee. Our record is a little better than both teams. For some reason, these last four teams have been a little better than South Carolina (the last few years). We go one at a time. This week is the Tennessee game. That's all we talk about - one game at a time.

On the recent series with Tennessee
Every year is a different year. Certainly we have been very competitive with Tennessee all four games. We could have won the two we lost but we could have probably lost one of the ones we won. Last year we got ahead comfortably. Yes, I sort of think we're close with them right now. We're 2-2 with them. (But) Again, we're 3-2 with Vanderbilt. We almost have a losing record with Vandy. Every game stands on its own merit.




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