Head coach Steve Spurrier met with the media Tuesday afternoon to preview Saturday's SEC road game at Florida
Nov. 9, 2010
Head Coach Steve Spurrier met with the media Tuesday afternoon to preview Saturday's SEC road game at Florida that will determine the SEC East Champion.
Tuesday Football Press Conferences
November 9, 2010 Columbia, S.C.
South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier
Obviously it's a big game coming up for us and for Florida. At the beginning of the season one of our goals was to win the eastern division. I'm sure Florida had the same goal. We feel fortunate to be in the final game. We haven't played extremely well lately, but our record is the same as Florida. The winner will be the champion and go to Atlanta to represent the East and have a shot at the SEC (title). For us to beat them we have to play better than we've played lately. We have to force punts and maybe get turnovers. Offensively, we need to score when we're in the 10-yard line, which we've done well earlier in the year but lately have had issues with turnovers down in the red zone. This game will stand on its own merit. I'm sure they'll be ready to play and we should be ready to play our best down there. A few weeks back I remember after we lost to Auburn that our team felt if there was anyway we could get to Florida with a shot at the eastern division, it would be good. It worked out. Florida had a slump in the middle of the year that enabled us to play them. We've had a slump here a couple of games late. It is what it is and should be a heckuva game. Florida is playing well right now, like Georgia. Georgia had a sluggish start and is playing extremely well right now. We have to go down and play one of our best games and see what happens.
Pass defense has been our nemesis for quite a while. Our run defense is still leading the conference. We've had some sacks that's helped that. We didn't played well at all the last game on offense or defense. Special teams was OK. We covered our kicks fairly well and ran one back to midfield. I guess that's pretty good for us. I think it's the longest of the year. What we have to do is try to play our game. Our game is to stay on the field a bit. We have to run, we all know that. We have to run Marcus Lattimore and whoever the running back is in the game. We have to throw completions and stay out there. Defensively we have to force more than two punts a game. Florida is very good on defense. They're second in the conference and seventh in the nation in total defense, so they present a big challenge. They have outstanding athletes at all position and are very well coached. We have to execute to move the ball against them. The crowd noise will be a little different. I think we've only had one loud (road) game all year and that was Auburn. We'll use a lot of hand signals and all that stuff. We'll start working on that today. We'll go play. I believe we're capable. We have to go down there with a lot more fire than we've had lately.
On how he treats championship games compared to others
We treat them all pretty much the same. We emphasize to play the best you can. Hopefully our guys will put something extra into preparations for this game because of its importance. As coaches we try to emphasize all of them as the most important because it's the game at hand. When this is over Troy becomes the most important game. Other than that will (Florida) have an advantage? They have a lot of young guys and play true freshmen out there. The guys that played in SEC Championship games may have a little more advantage. We're going down there understanding the importance but also understand it's a football game. You have to relax and can't get hyper and tensed up like that. We're looking forward to the challenge. This is why our players play, to get to this and perform. We'll find out if we can perform on the big stage.
On bouncing back from the Arkansas game
This game has nothing to do with Arkansas. Arkansas kicked our tails the other night. They outcoached, outplayed, out-blocked and out-tackled us. That was one reason I wanted our guys to watch Arkansas (tape). (To see) This is how you play the game. I don't think those guys missed a tackle. They play ball. Their offensive line blocked. Man did they block. I just wanted to show our guys, this is how u play the game if you want to win. We haven't been doing those kinds of things very well, blocking and tackling. We'll do some of that in practice today.
On being in the position to win the SEC East with the last game
It's what we hope happens. It will be difficult to have a two game lead playing Florida in the last one. We're excited in this position. We haven't been in this position until this year. We'll see what we can do.
On Florida expecting a big, raucous crowd
That's what coaches do. We all get our fans ready to go scream and yell. They'll have their guys doing that. That's part of it. In 2006 we had an excellent chance to win down there and didn't do it. The noise didn't bother us. I don't think you've ever had to get the Gator fans fired up, and you don't have to get our fans here fired up when its an important game. But that's what coaches do. You try to tell the fans and get them pumped up.
On when his 2000 team defeated South Carolina for the SEC East
It was one of the best second -quarters I ever had in my life. We scored 28 points in the second quarter somehow and had a lot of freakish things go well for us. We faked a punt down 21-3 and made it. We threw a pass they batted down and one of our offensive linemen ran it five yards for a touchdown. Lito Sheppard ran a punt back for a touchdown. That's when you know it's going your way, that it's meant to be. It was meant to be for us that night and we won in Atlanta as well. That's the last championship I've been a part of, so certainly I'll remember about every play.
On Marcus Lattimore
Marcus was able to go back in. He really didn't quite run the way he normally runs. He slipped a couple of times. I guess running backs are like passers sometimes. Sometimes it's really sharp and sometimes its off. I'm not so sure he was quite as sharp last week as he's been all season. Certaintly for us to have a shot he has to be sharp. Our line has to block too though. We have to block a lot better. We'll see if we can block, tackle and play some ball this week.
On injuries to T.J. Johnson, Connor Shaw and C.C. Whitlock
T.J. is coming around. He had a sprained knee. A lot of treatment and I believe he'll be ready to play by Thursday. He and Connor won't do too much, but Connor was able to lightly toss a few balls last night. C.C. should be ready although Marty Markett probably played better than he did. I think Coach Ward wants to watch them practice and determine which starts.
On the 2005 victory against Florida at Williams-Brice Stadium
That was a day we only threw 17 passes. Blake Mitchell was 7-of-17 and Sidney Rice had a few acatches. Every touchdown we scored was a run-in score. That was a game we maximized our scoring in the redzone. Four touchdowns and a field goal.
On the team's attitude this week
We haven't been around them a whole lot yet. We'll be ready to practice and have a go at it. This game really doesn't matter what we've done prior except we won enough to get to it. Florida is in the same situation. Every game stands on its own merit. We'll see how it works out.
On the Florida-South Carolina game deciding the SEC East champion
South Carolina had a chance to win it in 2000. We (Florida) had to beat them to go. That's the only year that that happened, so it's similar to that year as far as whoever wins it. I'm not big on which one is the biggest (victory in his career) and this that and the other. I'll let you know after the game.