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Steve Spurrier Tuesday Press Conference Quotes & Videos

Nov. 20, 2012

November 20, 2012
Coach Ward
Kelcy Quarles, Devin Taylor
Bruce Ellington
Shaq Wilson

South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier met with the media Tuesday afternoon to preview Saturday's non-conference tilt against rival Clemson. The Gamecocks and Tigers are slated to kickoff at 7 p.m. on ESPN in the final regular season game of the season.

Opening Statement...
It's good to be here. This season has flown by pretty quickly; it seems like they go quicker ever year. We're going into our 12th game of the regular season. It's the last one and then whatever bowl game is yet to be decided. Clemson is close to being in the national championship hunt. If they could have held on at Florida State, we'd be talking about these guys playing for the national championship if they won their conference championship and then beat us. Tajh Boyd would be up for Heisman Trophy. That's how close they could have been to one of those super, super years, one game away. You can look at Florida State and say they're in the same situation. If they had held on against NC State they would be right there also. College football is a sport where there's no room for error. Every game is extremely important. You watch those NFL games and say the Giants are okay and then they get hot near the end of the year and whoever gets hot in the playoffs is the ultimate champion. In college ball, you play them all and if you're fortunate enough to win them all, you're fortunate enough to play for all the marbles.

Clemson and the offense they have, is by far the best we've played against this year. Their defense has been good when it needs to be. They've given up some yards here and there. Offensively, they've got all positions covered, receivers, tight ends, offensive line, running backs and then their quarterback has really been good. It will be a big challenge for us. We played well defensively last year. Hopefully that will give us some confidence that we can hold these guys down. I think they're better offense this year than they were last year at this time. Our offense needs to play better. We were pretty ugly the last game. We didn't block very well. Fortunately, Kenny Miles had a heck of a game. He ran the ball sensationally. We were able to grind out an ugly win over Wofford last week. If we're going to have a chance, we have to play well offensively, make a bunch of first downs, stay out there and score points. It should be a heck of a game. I guess it's a sell out. It should be loud. Hopefully we can play better on the road than we have thus far this year. We have not played very well on the road in our last two outings at LSU and Florida.

Injury wise, Connor Shaw did not practice last night and he's not scheduled to practice today. His foot is bothering him. It bothered him during the game. If he had told us, we probably would have put Dylan Thompson in, but he kept saying he was alright and that he could finish out. If he can't play Dylan Thompson will be ready to go. Jadeveon Clowney will practice a little bit today and tomorrow. Hopefully he should be ready to play this weekend. Other than that, we're pretty much full go other than that with the exception of Marcus Lattimore. The guys who have played the last three weeks should be ready to play. It should be a heck of a game and we're looking forward to see what happens.

On the team's emotion this week...
It's a little early for all that. Hopefully we will get that as we build through the week. Our guys have played very well against them last three years. We'll just have to wait and see if we can do it again this year.

On Clemson's offensive pace...
I just know they've scored a whole bunch. I think they had their 62 before they started the fourth quarter last week. They had about that many at Duke. They could be scoring in the 80s on some of the guys, but they shut it down. To have a chance against them, we have to try to sort of do what Stanford did against Oregon. I don't know what they did, but somehow or another they held those guys down. You try to limit the possessions if you can. They had 18 possessions in the game last week. We had 8 against Wofford. Of course they only had eight too. Wofford knows how to keep the clock moving. If you go out there and throw every down the way some of their opponents have, you're going to give them a lot of possessions and the opportunity to score a bunch. We know we've got to throw. We're not good enough to run the ball up and down the field. We've got to throw and run and mix it up. We've got to play well, block, tackle, all of those things.

On the rivalry...
I think it's one of the best. We're in different conferences, so that makes it a little different. But Georgia-Georgia Tech, Florida-Florida State are very similar. It's bragging rights for the year. We've been pretty fortunate lately. Our guys haven't lost to them, our seniors. I think Akeem Auguste lost four years ago and he got red shirted in between. We've had some good fortune. Hopefully it will keep up, we've got to wait and see.

On Connor Shaw...
It's a pretty good concern if he's not able to practice. Again, we'll just wait and see where he is Wednesday or Thursday. If not Dylan will play. He'll be ready to go play. If he's able to play, certainly he'll be ready to play. Whether we start him or not depends on his health. He's played pretty well, even though he struggled last week he still hit 80% of his passes. He hit 16 out of 20. It wasn't a terrible game by any means. It was just one or two plays here or there where we thought he could have fired it in there. Other than that, he played very well.

On breaking Rex Enright's record against Clemson...
I haven't thought much about that really. Us against them is big enough to talk about. I don't think it's that big of a deal. The bigness of this game is who wins between us and them.

On how the rivalry has changed since he came to South Carolina...
I don't have the exact answer. We lost some close ones early. We won one close one there early. Obviously, better players help and maybe better coaches, all that kind of stuff. Every year you try your best to beat everybody you play. It's worked out that we've played well the last three years. If you ask those guys, I'm sure they'd say we didn't play our best game. We've played pretty good games. No crucial turnovers, we made a bunch of third downs, scored touchdowns. That's how we got 34 points a couple times and 29 the other time. 34 points...a lot of teams have scored 34 on them this year and it hasn't been good enough this year.

On the comments between the two head coaches...
I don't think there's any big deal to it. I just mentioned at the pep rally for Marcus on his birthday that I agreed that Dabo (Swinney) had mentioned that Marcus Lattimore stands for everything that's right about college football. I just mentioned that I agreed with him. I didn't think it was a derogatory comment. I found out he loves Southern California and the University of North Carolina. That's what I found out about him. He really likes those two schools. Other than that, it's no big deal.

I never said much during the season that I know of. I have those little corny jokes during the summertime. Bobby Bowden did the same thing. Back in those days, I think I did between 20 or 22 booster clubs over the summer and I think he did the same thing. They had their little jokes about us and we had our little jokes about them. No big deal. Everybody would laugh a little bit. Then, all the sudden you start beating some people and tell your little jokes and people think you're trying to jab them and dig at them. That's just off-season humor, keeping things light. That's the way I look at it.

I usually don't like to respond to what other coaches say. They're free to say whatever they want to. It doesn't bother me.

On Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd and the Heisman...
He's a candidate, he should be. I don't know why they aren't talking about him. I find it strange that they aren't talking about Chad Morris for a bunch of these openings, he's put together one of the top offenses in the country the last two years. I would think his name has got to be on a list of head coaching candidates.

On the tight ends...
We play two tight ends a lot. Sometimes we block well, sometimes we don't. Hopefully we can block well this week it will be critical. No question that we have to run the ball and hit passes to stay on the field.

On the running backs...
Kenny Miles had one of his best games if not his best as a Gamecock last week. He will need another big game. Mike Davis will also. Mike is a good runner also. We've got to block somebody. We've blocked well at times and at times not so well.

On Marcus Lattimore...
He's doing fine, he's coming around. There's not much swelling in his knee, he's on the road to recovery. He's doing pretty well.

On Brent Venables and the Clemson defense...
Their defense has played well at times and given up some yards at times. They have athletes all over the field. We've got to block them. We had trouble blocking Wofford last week and we had trouble moving the ball on those guys. We're not a high-powered offense at all. We're a slug it out type of bunch that can make a few yards here and a few there and tries to make some first downs. Hopefully we can look like a better offense than we did last week. We didn't look very good last week.

On the possession game...
They had 18 possessions last week, both teams did. Their defense has to play a lot, but that's what happens when you score in one or two minutes. Then your defense goes out. They played a bit more. State had 90-some plays. That's a lot of plays. Our guys played 66 and 62 plays last week. It's a different ball game. They only had 60 against us last year. We were able to run the ball a little bit and stay on the field and got them off on third downs. I think they're making 50% on third downs. They have stayed out on the field this year.



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