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Oct. 28, 2006

Recap | Final Stats | Notes | Photo Gallery media-icon-photogallery.gif

South Carolina Head Coach Steve Spurrier
General comments:
“Well, Tennessee beat us. There are no excuses. Last year, we were just meant to win and tonight we were not meant to win. That’s the way it went. Syvelle (Newton) had a heck of a game again. He ran well, threw the ball. Cory (Boyd) ran hard.

“We don’t have to worry about winning the SEC this year. We can go back to trying to win six or seven games and having an excellent season. The pressure is off us completely. We can relax and not worry about being in championships. A ball here or there and we would have had a chance. A lot of guys played with a lot of effort tonight. The fans were wonderful.

“It went the same as the Auburn game went. We’re not quite there. Hopefully we will be some day. We had more plays and more yards like we did against Auburn. We have to take care of the ball. We lost a fumble and had two interceptions. They lost a fumble on a punt and that was a good turnover for us at the time.

On the fourth-and-two play on South Carolina’s first drive of the second half:
“Fourth-and-two, and we’re trying to beat Tennessee, I wanted (Syvelle) to pitch the ball with his right hand to (Cory). He pitched it a little behind. We had it set up like we wanted but just didn’t execute.”

On South Carolina’s next-to-last play of the game:
“(Justin) Sorensen caught the ball that got batted. We should have thrown it 30 or 40 yards downfield instead.”

On South Carolina’s special teams:
“Our kick returns were sorry, our punt returns were sorry. We earned all of our scores. They had the short field on a couple of them. The interception on the second play of the game, Mike West sort of had it and they picked it off and scored. That was a big play.”

On South Carolina’s start to the game:
“We started poorly, and again, we made a few third downs here and there, but we didn’t get enough points. We went ahead 17-14 and they drove back down and made that third-and-13, and it was a big play.

“We ran well early and then not so well a little later. We had 35 runs and tried to mix it up. The game came down to the interceptions and a few tip balls. They got 10 points from it and that’s the way it worked out.”

Head Coach Phillip Fulmer

“Obviously we are very excited to get this win on the road. To get the win on the road in the Southeastern Conference anytime is a big deal. I am particularly proud of this team as to how they have continued to fight back in a number of adverse situations. Our defense lost a couple of great players early in the year and we have kind of turned the corner in being better. Although tonight, we had a hard time getting Syvelle Newton on the ground. He is a special player and they have done a really good job with him.”

“We have shown some tenacity as a football team and some toughness and we have gotten ourselves to this point. I am proud of them. It won’t do anything but get harder. With LSU coming up next week, we will enjoy this one briefly and get on with our business. South Carolina did a good job, you have to give them credit.”

About Jason Swain’s third down conversion:
“It was huge. We have gone about our business of regaining our toughness from a mental and physical standpoint starting back in January. Jason is one of those guys that bought into it and has pushed at it all along. He played last week after two weeks off and I didn’t think he would. He is tough. He has been a good leader for us.”

South Carolina Assistant Coach/Player Quotes

Tyrone Nix, Defensive Coordinator
10 men on the field: “We made a substitution mistake. One guy didn’t hear the personnel change and the others did.”

(Stoney Woodson play): “We didn’t make the play. We had the opportunity. You only have so many chances in the ball game and we didn’t take advantage of them.”

(UT’s 6 minute, 79 yard drive deflating?): “We had some chances to stop them and get off the field. That’s something we have to learn as a defense – how to get off the field.”

Stanley Doughty
“We put ourselves in a hole by making a lot of mistakes and then letting the punt return go. We have to use this loss as motivation to get back at it next week. We didn’t take advantage of enough things tonight as a team. But down the road I hope we can capitalize on our mistakes. We played hard against Georgia, Auburn and Tennessee. We need to win the close ones. We have to have the motivation to push hard and win one down the road.”

“We need to win a close game against a big team. We have to use this game as motivation and win one of these under pressure. They (UT) are good.”

Jasper Brinkley
“It really is getting old. We make the same mistakes, but fortunately we have practice so we can go back and fix them. They might have had a better game plan than we did, but we fought hard. We have to eliminate the mistakes to get to the next level. We are never gonna give up (on losing close ones). We are always gonna keep fighting until the last second on the clock. We just have to eliminate the mental errors.”

Kenny McKinley
“We feel like we can play with anybody we go against. This is the third team this year that was ranked high and we just couldn’t pull it out. It gets frustrating.”

Eric Norwood
“We feel like we should have won, but like Coach Spurrier said, `the pressure is off with winning the SEC Championship’. We never really concentrated on that too much, but we always had it at the back of our minds. Now we just have to go out and play and try to win the next four.”

“Everything they did, we covered in practice. They had a little momentum change, but that’s about it.”

“Another top 10 team and we lose by seven. We can’t get over that hump yet, but we’ll get there.”

Mike West
On the early interception
“I got my hands on it, and something just hit me, and it went up in the air.”

On his touchdown
“Really it was kind of a busted play. It was a jump ball that didn’t work out. I was open, so I just caught the ball.”

“We moved the ball pretty good. Syvelle can make plays. I don’t think they stopped us. We just didn’t get in the endzone.”

“I had a hamstring injury, but I’m back now. It felt good to be out there running around. Coach gave me an opportunity to make a play, and I did.”

Syvelle Newton
“First we were down, and then we fought back in the game and took the lead. We felt like we had the momentum, but it just switched back to them, and we went down two touchdowns. It’s kind of hard to make that up in one quarter.”

“Everybody could see that there was pass interference, but that’s not why we lost. We can’t use that as an excuse. I know I made two mistakes. I’ll take the blame.”

“The line blocked well tonight. We just fell short. There were a couple plays I wish we didn’t make that cost us the game. They’re a great team. You can’t take anything away from those guys.”

“Once you keep coming up short, we know we can play with those guys. At the end of the night you ask yourself, `why can’t we win?’ You have to know how to take the losses and get ready for the next game.”

Tennessee Player Quotes

Junior Quarterback Erik Ainge

On Tennessee’s overall performance:
“Offensively and defensively we did a good job. We just made more plays than they did. Both teams made some plays, both teams made some mistakes, and we just made more big plays.”

“If we played the way we do in the fourth quarter in the first three, then we wouldn’t have to win in the fourth quarter. We need to address that.”

On the 62-yard pass play to Robert Meachem:
“That was huge. We knew that we needed to score. The line gave me time and (Robert) Meachum had a true freshman guarding him.”

Senior Linebacker Marvin Mitchell

On the team’s fourth quarter performance:
“Earlier in the season we had a little let down in the Florida game, and the guys took pride in stepping up in the fourth quarter. We were just doing what we needed to do.”

On facing South Carolina after the loss last year:
“The loss last year is always in the back of our minds, but this year is a new year, and we have to take that and drive on. We’ll always have a bad taste in our mouth from last year, but now we have guys stepping up and playing like we should be.”

Senior Defensive Back Jonathan Wade

On the challenges presented by South Carolina:
“It seemed like Syvelle (Newton) was just always waiting to sneak out and pick up the certain number of yards to get the first down. It was tough, but we came into this Saturday knowing that is was going to be a tough game.”

On competing against Sidney Rice:
“We were just out there playing ball. He’s an outstanding receiver. He’s made a lot of plays and we knew going into the game that he was going to be a challenge.”