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Sept. 24, 2005

Recap | Final Stats | Notes | Photo Gallery

USC Head Coach Steve Spurrier

Most of the time, we played with a lot of effort. To play a team like Troy and get our quarterback hit time and time and time. … We had very poor pass protection.

Mike Davis ran well, than all of a sudden he was not hitting the pile. Not sure if he was tired, but we thought we could run a little. We ran a little bit but nothing spectacular.

Fortunately, they fumbled a lot. If they hadn’t fumbled a lot, we’re in overtime. They fumbled a lot and gave us a chance to beat them.

It’s a win, and we’ll take it. I hope we can play a lot better than this before the season is over.

Blake Mitchell twisted his ankle on the play. It was a corner blitz. This team doesn’t rush more than five guys. We just are not smart enough to pick them up or block them. Maybe we are not good enough.

Our protection is not good. Blake didn’t see him there. I’m not sure how bad it is. They say it is not a fracture.

Ricardo Hurley’s hit: It was a good hit there. I have to watch the tape to see who played well. But the effort was pretty good, very good most of the time.

They ran for a bunch of yards. We made a lot of progress, forced some punts, but we had to punt a bunch ourselves. It was an OK win.

On Blake’s injury: We’ll ice it up for two or three days. It was his left ankle. The way our pass protection is, he may want to rest a couple of weeks.

We wanted to get Antonio in the second quarter, give him a shot to see what happens. He is a good runner, then he gets out there, and I’ve never seen guys go backward like our guys go backward. He’s a good runner, but he does funny things out there. We will work on that. If he plays next week, we’ll let him run around, and hope to catch a few passes.

Michael Flint made the play of the game, a beautiful catch over a guy. Sidney played well, and Syvelle. We’re just afraid to throw because we’re afraid we’ll get sacked.

The best call of the game was the punt on fourth and one. We picked up the fumble and scored on the second play. We couldn’t budge it on the sneak, we couldn’t budge them. They were tough.

My performance is tied to my players. If they played well, we coached well. If they didn’t play well, we didn’t coach well.

Antonio will be our quarterback if Blake can’t go. If he goes down, we’ll have to get Cade ready. Although Brett Nichols is a possibility.

Our tight ends got run over a couple of times. But it’s a team sport. We just are not as good as I hoped we would be on pass protection.

Ricardo had an excellent hit. Probably give him the game ball. It was a big play, sort of put the game out of reach.

We’re happy to win one. We don’t want to be too critical, but I don’t want to praise our guys for beating this team too much. We’re still a long way off.

Tim Frisby: He scampered for about eight yards. Then he lined up wrong on the next play. But we got Pops a catch for the record books.

Whoever plays hard and plays well has got a chance to be a captain around here. We’re just all trying to play the best we can.

I thought the guys tackled better and played faster. We didn’t stand around as much as last week. I hope the tape verifies that. We’ve got a long way to go.

The receivers blocked well downfield.

South Carolina Player Quotes

Tim Frisby, Offense
“That play was something we have been working on all season. You go out there and do what you are taught to do. It’s not about me, it’s about the team. You just go out there and play. I got a great block from Le’Moriell Williams and I caught it. It feels good. It’s a start. We want to improve on the season and hopefully get some more during the season. I would like to catch a touchdown one day, but who knows.”

Michael Flint, Offense
“It was a play – I really just cleared to the middle. It was designed for Travis Lee, but I think Antonio had some pressure so he gave me a chance to make a big play and I came down and caught it. It is one of the most exciting times for me. It’s an unbelievable feeling. It’s one of the most natural high feelings I have ever had. Just unbelievable.”

Sidney Rice , Offense
“I think that was the best complete game we had as a team as far as running the ball and catching it. I think our offensive line played well today. They played with a lot of emotion and that helped. I talked to Blake on the sidelines and he was doing ok.”

Ricardo Hurley, Defense
“We played harder this week. We ran a little bit different defense. The coaches just let us go out there and play. We ran four down linemen and he just let us go out there and play and key on the running backs. It was pretty fun, but we weren’t on the field a lot. We just went out and played with our natural talent. We weren’t really worried about gaps this week, we just played. It was a great defense for us. He turned us loose. If we keep playing, we have a couple screw-ups to fix, but if we keep playing hard we will have some success.”

Antonio Heffner, Offense
“We will get the pass protection better (based off a Coach Spurrier quote). (asked about starting next week if Blake Mitchell can’t): I am a team player. I want Blake to get better. I want him to play in the Auburn game. I prepare myself mentally before every practice. Based on being his back-up, no matter what happens, I just play my role on the team. I played decent, not above average, but decent – I have a lot of work to do. Anytime you are playing quarterback you need a lot of reps to build up your confidence. If I played in this game, I will feel much better and maybe more confident entering the next game.”

Tremaine Tyler, Defense
“I think we played pretty good overall. We made some mistakes and we can improve, but overall as a defense we played pretty good. They are a great team, but we practiced that all week. We knew we had to force some turnovers. I think it was good (the first turnover). It gave the team some momentum.”

Troy Head Coach Larry Blakeney

On game: “Well, it was another comedy of errors, not that we weren’t playing a pretty good football game. They got a little better and they didn’t give us any. Maybe it was just us. People aren’t too gracious about turnovers when we get around. That’s something that’s unacceptable. You can’t win games, especially if you’re a growing team like us, if you don’t get some help. That doesn’t help us and that’s to their credit… And we were way too generous driving the ball down the first drive. We got a little momentum, certainly field position, and we got down there and gave the ball away without scoring….”

On turnovers: “I think in some regards, we probably know a little more about ourselves. We just need to hold on to the ball…Five and lost four (fumbles). That’s not what we’re about. I’m not saying that some of them weren’t caused, because they looked like some really well hat placements on the tackles. We have to be able to take better care of the football or we won’t beat anybody, South Carolina or any one else.”

Positives about the game: “We ran hard, played hard. It was a pretty hot and muggy night and we played a lot of people. We’re sort of growing as a team. You never know how much you’ve grown until you play a conference game and see where you are. Playing these last two, our team last year and these last two have been right in the middle of both of them. We had 14 starters depart and it was really more than that if you count a quarterback who is not here that was here at the end of the year… There are some things in there that I think we can find to build on. And we have a 10-day prep here and we’re going to try to get better as a team.”

On whether youth is to blame: “Well, we can blame it on that, but we’ve played three games before tonight. Some of the guys are not so young, but inexperience and competition sometimes don’t mix very well. So, I think it’s part of it.”


#27 Bernard Davis–Sr–LB–
“We’ve got to get better on defense; got to tackle better. But they were a good team and we’ve got to look at this as a learning experience and build on it for next week in our first conference game, North Texas. If we tackle (next week) like we did tonight, it’ll be a long night.”

#44 Rob Austin–Jr–TE–
“(Tight end) has always been home to me, so really left tackle was a bit uncomfortable. They called me up a couple weeks ago and asked me to move back (to TE); thought it would benefit the offense. So far (2 starts), it seems to be going pretty good. I’ve been a little out of shape, but I’m getting back into it. It’s a little different shape playing tight end than left tackle.

“That is my first career touchdown. I’ve probably only had I think three or four receptions period. So two receptions tonight and one touchdown, that’s pretty decent. I just wish it could have been during a win, but we got beat by a good team, and there’s not much we can say about it.”

#25 Derick Pendergrass–Jr–DB–
“It was great getting back home in South Carolina. I got to play in front of my family and friends. I played here twice in junior college (at Georgia Military College), once in the state championship (while at Manning High School), so four times playing in Williams-Brice Stadium was a great experience.

“It would’ve felt better if we won, but you can’t win every one. We fell on the short end this time, but we’re looking to turn it around going into conference play.”

On the defensive problems–“It was some of everything. We had mental breakdowns. (South Carolina) got the breaks when we turned the ball over. If we eliminate all that, we’re a good team.”