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Sept. 2, 2005

South Carolina Head Coach Steve Spurrier

Opening Statement:
“Our defense couldn’t get them off the field, but we were tough inside the 20.

“They outplayed us. We’re not going to cry about it. We could have lost.

“We tried to run. Our longest run was Syvelle (Newton) on the quick around. Kris Clark, we maybe should have given him a game ball. He made two key blocks.

“I am concerned about the running game. We’ll look at the tape, look to find some way to make some yards. Fortunately, the receivers caught about everything, and Blake (Mitchell) made some good passes.

“Our average starting position was no good, but we kept them out of the end zone. And we scored three touchdowns, and that was enough to win.

“I’m not going to feel too bad. A few plays here and there, they beat us. I’m not moping too much. I’m happy to be 1-0. I’ll start worrying about Georgia tomorrow.”

On Syvelle Newton leaving the game in the fourth quarter:
“Syvelle was knocked out pretty good. He was hit in the head. He was moving everything, but he wasn’t all the way back. He knew he was in the stadium. I hope he’ll be OK. He had a concussion.”

On the first touchdown pass:
“It was a nice play to Noah (Whiteside), a nice catch, and Blake (Mitchell) threw a nice ball. He overthrew Travis (Lee) once, but we did hit the deep post once for a score.

“When you get the lead, you like to run the ball some. Maybe we should have tried to throw more.

On the atmosphere at the game:
“The atmosphere was wonderful. The fans were alive and exciting.”

On the running game:
“Bobby (Wallace) never got going. No holes for him, I guess. Mike (Davis) made a good run on the swing pass, and we were fortunately able to throw it in from the 6. We couldn’t run it in.”

“We run decent in practice against our guys, but we couldn’t get much going against them tonight.”


Noah Whiteside

“The first half went well. We had to make a play tonight. I think in the second half we kind of relaxed. We got ahead and kind of relaxed. As long as we get a win, I am happy. We just have to continue to make plays and continue to do what we do. It wasn’t boring in the second half. Central Florida had some long drives in the second half and played very well. Now we have to get ready for Georgia.”

Mike Davis

“We have a great bunch of backs and a lot of guys that are able to come in and play. We have a great quarterback and a great offensive line. As many coaches say `every play is meant to be taken in for a touchdown’. Every play is not just built to get a couple of yards, they are build to take it down for a touchdown. It was very exciting coming out tonight for my first game. It was a thrill being from Columbia.”

Johnathan Joseph

“We played well in the first half. We had a few three and outs and played well. Then in the second half we ended up with bad field position due to some poor play. I gave up a couple passes myself and we didn’t play all out. Things we did in practice we didn’t do every time tonight. (first game jitters or did UCF get on a roll?): It looks like they got on a roll a little bit in the second half. They played hard. They got a couple breaks here and there, but otherwise the defense held them a couple times. We held them in the red zone, but we let them run up and down the field a little too much.”

Blake Mitchell

“We now prepare for Georgia. We know we have some capabilities. We stopped ourselves and we have to go out there and fix the mistakes and we will be fine. I felt good tonight. We got up to the line with plenty of time to see what they were doing and I felt like I managed the game decently. You have to take what Coach Spurrier tells you to do and just go out there and do it. It’s a lot of fun playing for him. It’s a big relief to get that first game under your belt and get a win. It feels good to get that first win for the team. It feels good for all of us. We are going to have to be able to run the ball. We are going to have to make some progress there and have a good week of practice. We are going to have to work on that. I think that the surge coming off the we weren’t knocking them back enough on the line enough at times.”

UCF Head Coach George O’Leary

“To recap the game, obviously we gave up too many big plays on defense. We gave up a lot of field position. You can’t to that against SEC teams or any team and win.

“I thought our kids hung in there and competed. You have to give South Carolina credit. They scored points when they had to. We’ll tee it up next week. We’ve got to get better. You’re never happy with a loss, but I think we can learn a lot of things from this one.

“We started off a little big-eyed, but I think we settled in and competed. I told them at halftime, anything we gave up was our fault. We gave up a lot of costly penalties, 20 yards on one drive. You can’t do these things and win. I think we’ll learn a lot when we go back and look at the film. We’ll go back and look at the film and get ready for South Florida.

“I said all during preseason, there’s no question it’s night and day difference from last year. We’re a much better team. We’ve got to continue to get better.

UCF Player Quotes

#28 Renford Parks (JR, SS)

“It hurts; we were so close. We missed a few plays and got down early and that hurt us. We were so close to winning the game, but I give credit to South Carolina.”

(On the offense)–“Everything they ran, we prepared in practice for. We covered it pretty well. Besides a few big plays early, we were fine.”

(On the second half)–“We didn’t make any adjustments. We just settled down and went back to our game plan. It was working.”

#18 Javid James (SO, WR)

“I was behind my team 100%. It was good just being out there.”

(On his sister)–“She just turned 18 on August 27. She went to New Orleans on the evening of the 26th to enjoy her birthday with her friends. We have not heard word from her.”

#9 Steven Moffett (JR, QB)

“Nobody is really happy because we had so many chances to come back. It seemed like they were almost trying to give us the game.”

(On the first half)–“We didn’t come out early the way we needed to. We came out OK, but we needed to come out faster and be able to sustain once we got down inside the 30.”

“When it got to the nitty-gritty, they were making plays. Football’s a game of inches, just like our coaches say, they were coming up with the inches in the first half.”

(On the defense)–“It was for the most part what we expected to see, but they did some weird stuff out there. We were kind of prepared for that; we didn’t know how much they were going to do it, but we were pretty prepared for (the different defensive fronts).”

(On the second half)–“All coach said was we needed to settle down and sustain drives. That’s what we did in the second half. We didn’t have too many changes. One or two things here or there, but it was nothing major. We just needed to come out and sustain, and keep the tempo up.”