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Nov. 19, 2005

Recap | Final Stats | Notes | Photo Gallery

Clemson at No. 19/21 South Carolina
Nov. 19, 2005
Williams-Brice Stadium (Columbia, S.C.)

Head coach Steve Spurrier Post-Game Quotes

“We had more yards than usual. But they made a lot of third downs. That was probably the difference in them getting the touchdown.”

“We didn’t score when we got down there. They made a touchdown, and we didn’t.”

“We played well. We didn’t play our best. We played OK.”

“In a close game, some of those misfires can come back and cost you.”

“Give Clemson credit. They played hard.”

On interception: “We were trying to throw it in the back of the end zone to Sidney Rice. Blake tried to throw it leaning backwards, which is a no-no.”

“They zoned up, and we tried to run. We should have tried to run more, but when we did, we didn’t go far.”

“They made a ton of third and eights and third and 10s. We forced two punts all game, but we played pretty good defense. We just couldn’t get them off the field.”

“13-9 would have been a good score for us. I figured we would have scored a touchdown.”

“We don’t play good defense, and you’ve got to play zone on third and 10. We coach it well, but the players don’t see the ball well. It’s been a sore point all year. It’s hurt us all year. But not scoring in the red zone has hurt also.”

“We’ve been making plays most of the year, but didn’t make that one.”

“It’s been a wonderful year. I told the guys to be proud of the year. To finish 7-4 is a wonderful year. Be proud of it.”

“We don’t have anything to complain about. We will get ready for the bowl game.”

Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden Post-Game Quotes

“We knew it was going to be a hard game coming in. Trying to catch South Carolina like we did, new guy in town, winning five games in a row, playing at home on senior night. They are a well-coached team and we knew it would be hard. I am very pleased with our win.”

On second half opening drive:
“Yeah we had a lull in the second quarter and South Carolina had a lot to do with that lull. They are a good football team. They won five conference games and finished second in their division. They are well coached and a very good team. In the second half we looked better than we did in the first. We knew they were going to insert safeties in the running game and they got numbers. We had to just create blocking schemes to give us the best advantage to try and run the ball.”

On the first and 35 drive:
“You have to get it in chunks. You have to try and go 10,10,10 and not try to get them all at once. When the game is on the line, Charlie Whitehurst knows how to respond. There were some great catches by the receivers, and there were some great throws and protection by the line.”

On winning four straight and eight of the last nine:
“I don’t think this is domination. I know those statistics sound impressive, but I don’t think that we will have any trouble next year televising this game.”

South Carolina Player Quotes

Na’Shan Goddard, Offense
“It was tough man; it is tougher to lose tight games. This is my last game here so it’s real tough. It’s all hitting me right now. Clemson’s defense played well – Clemson stopped us in the red zone. It was frustrating. But we’ve been in tough positions this year and we bounced back. We thought it would happen again. It just didn’t go our way.

(On hand shake pre-game): “It was nice to shake hands, but guys had their mean face on -their game face.

“It was a real close game and it just didn’t go our way. People thought we would be 4-6 or 3-7 coming into this game so we turned a lot of heads this year. Things just didn’t go our way tonight. We didn’t get the ball to bounce our way.

(On the 1st and 35): “It was tough. We thought we had them, but it didn’t go our way. The defense played great tonight. They did their job all night long and to lose after a five game run like that hurts. It really hurts. But we have to put it behind us now and get ready for a bowl.”

Fred Bennett, Defense
“We had to tighten up and make plays on third down. I thought we played our hearts out. We left it all on the field. Clemson just got the win. (on the offense not scoring): It wasn’t frustrating. I’m behind the offense all the way. Things just happen. Clemson made some great plays.

(On the pre-game hand shake): “It’s a good thing. It shows the fans, the whole nation that it’s a new year. I know a lot of Clemson players, they are good people. I am glad we did that.

(On the bowl game): “We will go to a bowl game this year, my first time in my three years here. We will have some fun, but we are going there to win the game. Wherever we go, that’s fine with me.”

Mike Davis, Offense
“We wanted to win. We played together. We just have to do better the next game. The 100 yards feels good, but it doesn’t matter if you don’t win the game.

Johnathan Joseph, Defense
“It’s been a wonderful season. One of our goals at the beginning of the season was to win this game. We fought until the end. We are looking forward to the bowl. We have something to look forward to, something that’s positive.”

Tyrone Nix, Co-Defensive Coordinator
“Our guys made great plays. We knew we had our work cut out for us tonight. We needed to stop them on third down. I need to coach better. Our fans were great. They have given us tremendous support all season long. It’s been great support.”

Chris Hampton, Defense
“We had to stop them when it was 1st and 35 – it was a critical moment in the game. We kept thinking we are going to stop them this time. We thought `we will stop them this time; we will stop them this next time.’ Then they got the whole 35.

“The players are disappointed in the lockerroom. They aren’t really down, but we are disappointed because we know we missed an opportunity. We are disappointing, we are hurting.”

Blake Mitchell, Offense
“They did a good job of keeping us out of the end-zone. We have had a pretty good season, better than most people thought. (In the first half): My ankle got rolled underneath me, it’s hurting a lot. Their defensive ends are good players and they got some pressure on me. We didn’t capitalize on their mistakes; we didn’t get the ball in the end zone.”

Sidney Rice, Offense
“It was a real good game. We made a few mistakes on the offensive side of the ball. We have to get past it and move on.”

(On choosing Carolina over Clemson when recruited): “At one point I wanted to go to Clemson, but they backed down. I then chose to go to South Carolina.”

Clemson Player Quotes

RS-Senior QB Charlie Whitehurst:
On the 3rd-down conversion to seal the win: “It was a quarterback draw. When the play is called it’s going to be a pretty good one, and all the gaps were covered. If you can just push them out of the way you’re going to have a clean run to the safety. I think I made it by about one yard and it was a great call and a great pickup. It was one of the best feelings of my life, you know it’s over, it’s four in a row, it’s just awesome.”

On his rough start:
“It couldn’t have started any worse. I just didn’t play good. The defense kind of kept us in it. We scored the points when we had to there at the end, and I just couldn’t be happier for everybody.”

On expecting to win this rivalry game:

“You come into this game feeling like you can win it, no matter where we play it, and I’m sure they feel the same way. No matter what the records are you know it’s going to come down to the end, and it did tonight.”

Freshman RB James Davis:
On the halftime turnaround: “We made too many mistakes in the first half. We turned it over a lot. I said `Let’s get the momentum back and let’s go out there, play some ball and play like we did against Florida State last week.’ “

On the rivalry:
“I did what I had to do to help the team win the game. I know how bad they wanted this, to win the rivalry. I saw it when we were riding the bus over here, the Gamecock fans booing us and everything. It’s really new to me coming up here [from his hometown of Atlanta]. The crowd was loud out there. I couldn’t hear anything, I really couldn’t hear the plays at all.”

On the strategy when USC went up 9-6:
“I told coach to give me the ball. We ran the ball a few times in the first half and got a couple of yards. So I told coach, give me the ball and let’s get a drive going and it’ll open up the pass.”

RS-Senior WR Curtis Baham:
On his touchdown catch:
“They were playing man coverage, I came off, got a release on the press man and broke outside. Charlie [Whitehurst] made a money throw, I caught it and was able to make a play.”

On the 1st and 35 in the fourth quarter:
“We were thinking it’s first and 35, we got three shots to pick up 35 yards and we made it happen. First down, complete to Aaron Kelly, second down complete to Chansi Stuckey, third down complete to Curtis Baham. There wasn’t anyone on the field waiting on someone else to make a play. All the wide receivers and running backs were wanting to make that play and we were blessed to be able to do so.”