Oct. 20, 2009
|Coach Spurrier||Ladi Ajiboye|
|Jason Barnes||Lemuel Jeanpierre|
Head Coach Steve Spurrier met with the media Tuesday afternoon to preview Saturday’s home game against Vanderbilt. The Gamecocks and Commodores will kickoff at 7 p.m. on ESPNU.
“We’re honored to be a part of the partnership between Under Armour and the Wounded Warriors project that supports our men and women who risk their lives to keep us safe. We want our fans to show their support by going out and getting the Under Armour Wounded Warrior gear at the bookstores and fill Williams-Brice Stadium on November14. The proceeds from the jersey will go to the Wounded Warrior project. We’re honored to be associated with these brave men. I like that word, courage. We’re trying to encourage our football players to play with a little more courage like these men do. We’re happy to be associated.”
“Vandy is a team that has struggled a little on offense. They’re still very good on defense like the last several years. They’re not bad on offense. They’ve not thrown very well but they have run it. They run it better than we have. They play good defense (that’s ranked) sixth in the conference. They’re tough guys and make few mistakes. If you’re going to beat them, you have to `beat’ them. We look forward to playing well. It’s a big game for us and we all know the importance of the game. Hopefully we’ll be prepared to play our best one of the year. That’s what it will take to beat Vandy Saturday night.”
On if there’s pressure to beat Vanderbilt
“The pressure is on us to play the best we can every week. We don’t get too much in what happened last year or the year before. They outplayed us the last two years. They were better than we were. Give them credit. We’ll try to play better this year and coach better, and see if we can come out on top against Vanderbilt.”
On Moe Brown
“Moe got a severe concussion last week. The doctors nowadays keep a player out at least two weeks. He’ll be out two weeks and hopefully back for the Tennessee game next week. Jason Barnes will start at his position. He’s ready to go. Moe will be on the sideline being a good cheerleader for our team this week.”
“We played against the No. 1 or 2 defense in the nation last week and got smashed pretty good up front, although our pass protection was pretty good. I’m not bashing our offensive line. We played pretty well. We’re still trying to run. We’ll try to mix it up this week. Vandy’s pass defense is ranked ahead of ours. They’re second in the conference and we’re third in pass defense. We have to mix it up and try to play a lot better than we have the last few times out.”
On Vanderbilt’s defense
“Their defensive end, No. 90, is a good player. He has given us some pressure. They’re a zone blitz team. They do it very well. They make few mistakes. They’re in position where they’re supposed to be. You have to execute to beat them. We had more yards than they did last year but that’ doesn’t determine the winner. We had more turnovers the last two years, but that’s not the only reason (we lost). They outplayed us.”
“As close as some of our teams are (in the SEC), one or two plays determine it. Coaches can only control so much. Sometimes it happens good, sometimes it doesn’t. We’re going to try to play better as far as turnovers are concerned. We’re a team that’s not unbeatable by anybody. South Carolina State could have beaten us (with) a play or two here. We’re not a real dominant team. I think we’re a real good team. We can play with almost anybody. We have to play a lot harder. We have to play with courage, effort and smarts.”
On Vanderbilt coach Bobby Johnson
“Bobby has done an excellent job there. I know him a little bit. He’s a South Carolina native from Columbia. They’ve been very competitive at Vandy. That’s a difficult job. They’re schedule is just as tough as ours every year. They’re right there in the Eastern Division like us. They played Georgia Tech out of conference and we played NC State. Georgia Tech has proven to be better than NC State this year.”
On wide receivers
“We have guys that have never played much before, so we’re learning as we go. Alshon Jeffery has come on to be a starter at wideout. He and Jason Barnes will start this week. Either DL Moore or Tori Gurley will be the other guy in the three wide receiver formation. We have a new team this year. They’re doing OK. We have to get the ball to them a little bit better.”
Senior Offensive Lineman
On his role on the team
“At the beginning of the season, after my injury in the spring, during fall camp I was playing a lot. I’m ready to play any position as needed for the team. Right now we are just getting ready at all positions to be prepared and be fresh.”
On this week’s game vs. Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt is a big game; it’s an SEC game. We have lost two years in a row to them- we haven’t forgotten it. We have learned from our past mistakes. We have film of them playing and we have been going over it.
On his future
I graduated last December. Right now I am taking some graduate classes. Now I want to get my GRE done so that I can get into graduate school. Before I leave, I want to get as many wins as possible. When I first came here I wanted to have people know who I was. I wanted to be known as a model student and athlete.
Vanderbilt lost a couple of games, but we’ve been watching the tapes and we noticed that the score could be misleading at times. They are a very smart, hard working team. You can see on the tapes that they don’t stop. They have a high motor defense. We need to outplay them in all four quarters.
Junior Defensive Tackle
On the team’s attitude
It’s homecoming, we feel like we have to step it up. This game is very important. We have a very tough schedule. Vanderbilt is the next game. We need to step it up. Vanderbilt has a tough offense. They are a team that can’t be taken lightly.
We let the coaches do most of the talking, but we will also talk to the younger guys off the field in our free time. We talk about the past and how we needed to learn from our mistakes.