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Sept. 20, 2005

Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina head football coach Steve Spurrier addressed the media on Tuesday afternoon as the Gamecocks begin preparations for Saturday’s game with Troy.

“We’re looking forward to playing another team from the state of Alabama. Hopefully we will play a whole lot better than we did against the first Alabama team. Looking at the schedule we actually have three in a row. We have Auburn after we play Troy this week. Troy had an excellent year last year, went to the Silicon Valley Bowl. They had one of the best defenses in the country; I think they were ranked in the top 10 in a lot of categories. They lost a lot of those players but still they are a very well coached team, lot of excellent athletes, we’re looking forward to a very tough football game on Saturday night.”

“We’re going to make some changes. I think our defensive coaches have already announced their changes. They went ahead and said we’re going to start a couple new defensive ends and we’re going to start a couple of new defensive corners. Not to say we are blaming any part of our defense on those players, it’s just at a point where it’s time to get some other guys some chance.”

“We’re going to give James Thompson an opportunity at right guard. He hasn’t had a chance to play this year, so we’re going to toss him in and let him play. Jamon Meredith needs to play some also. Right now, if Jabari Levey is back, then Jamon would be the next tackle to go in.”

“Sidney Rice is a starter, Syvelle Newton will go to the flanker position. We’re going to try to give Mike Davis a little better opportunity to run more than four, five plays a game. We need to settle in a little bit. We’ve played three games. We need to hopefully now have some idea who are best players are and get them on the field the most time. We are not really sure.”

“The game last week, we were all bad. It starts with me; it goes through the assistant coaches and the players. We were all bad. If our fans felt like booing last week, I would have said they had a good reason to. To me, you only boo if the guys are not playing with effort or the coaches don’t look like they know what they’re doing. We were all in that category. The fans will not hurt my feelings if we perform like that again and boo. I just want that to be known. Our team deserved it the last time out.”

“Hopefully, we are going to have guys that really love playing the game and act like it. We are looking to have some fire and emotion here Saturday night. Something different than what we had in the last go around. Troy is a good team. We are going to need to play well to beat them.”

“When you look at our team, we just don’t have a lot of guys who played a whole bunch last year. Our linemen played a lot, Jabari (Levey) and Na’Shan (Goddard). But there is not a track record for so many of our players. We’ve got some fourth and fifth year players on defense that have not played a whole lot since they have been here. Played some, but we just don’t have a track record with a steady bunch of guys.”

“We are not where we hoped to be. We still have a long season ahead. We’re not discouraged but disappointed that we haven’t improved as we’ve gone thus far. It’s now, we need to give some other players some chance and also we have got to tell our players that have been playing that we need to play at a better effort level.”

“I’ve always felt that you redshirt all your freshmen unless they can help your team contribute right away. We are at the point where we think, Marvin Sapp, Dakota Walker, we think they can contribute. Nate Pepper may play also. That’s just where we are. If we are going to play them, we are going to play them a lot. We are not going to let them sweep up some games and chase kickoffs. We are going to let them get out there and play.”

“Most running backs need the ball more than four, five times a game. Mike needs to carry the ball a little bit better. He had a fumble last week. We were pretty fortunate in recovering three of our own fumbles last week. We can’t cough it up like that. Carlos (Thomas), I think, fumbled two in a row.”

“It’s coaching and players. We are all in it together. We all have to do a better job.”