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Sept. 3, 2010

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

South Carolina Head Coach Steve Spurrier

Opening Statement
Good win for us. Our guys played well most (of the) game. It was a funny game. They had 84 plays to our 65. I wish we didn’t have games like this. I wish when we got ahead we stayed on the field and the other (team) didn’t. That team didn’t score much, but a lot of our guys played well. We hit big plays here and there. Garcia ran the ball well. It was a sloppy game. Our defense played well. To hold them to 14 pts is good. They had a bunch of third down conversions. We missed a few opportunities (but) we played well and won the game. We’ll try to improve for the next game against Georgia.

On Stephen Garcia running the ball
We tell him to find a hole and to dive in there, but he’s a big guy. His first touchdown run, he ran over the guy at the eight-yard line and caroomed into the end zone. That was the first score of the game. That was a good drive. The first five plays of the game we went backwards. Then we had two offsides by o-linemen. I think we had second and 20 when we hit Alshon for the comeback. Somehow we had a 90-yard drive for a touchdown. It wasn’t easy. Not many turnovers. I guess the only was (Andrew) Clifford’s play at the end. Anyway, got to let the kid throw one. That was I think our only turnover of the game, which is good ball security. We got a fumble and a pick there early in the game. (It was) just a good solid game for us.

On Marcus Lattimore
Lattimore had good solid runs for us. We didn’t have any long runs except for Ace Sanders. Obviously we have to get him more involved in the offense going on. It was a good win for us.

On the offense
We hit a few balls here or there. Alshon had over 100 yards catching. We did hit some big plays. We ran the ball so-so, but that’s ok. We had some good runs in there. We have a lot to improve on. It was a good win. I’m proud of our guys. I knew we were ready to play. We had almost all of our guys here. A couple didn’t make it and hopefully they’ll all be back next week.

On the NCAA investigation being a distraction
It was a little (distracting), but we didn’t try to make it a distraction. It was a relief that we had basically our entire team ready to play here tonight. At one time it looked like a lot of them might not play, so it worked out. It was nice to get all the guys on the field.

On Spencer Lanning
Spencer had a super night as we thought he would. He hit both his field goals and punted for a 52.5 average. You guys want to build someone up for kicker of the year, you can start for Spencer. I don’t think praise will affect him (negatively). He’s a good one.

On calling plays at the line of scrimmage
I do like the call the play at the line of scrimmage stuff. I don’t think either team huddled all night. When has that last happened at Williams-Brice Stadium. Y’all may have seen a first. I don’t think either team huddled out on the field. I sort of like that. It gives you extra time. As long as you have your signals down and code words, it works pretty well. It’s a good way to go because it gives you time. The games may be four hours long, but it worked out time wise very well.

On working without certain players
We were ready to play. We had good practices and sort of operated that those guys would play. Our Plan B wasn’t very much in place. All the guys basically except a couple were able to play. We had good practices. Our guys are in shape. Our strength coach Craig Fitzgerald got a game ball. Our guys are in excellent condition and played fast and so forth. We have to get a lot better if we want to make a run or have a big year. We have a lot of areas to clean up. Hopefully we learn from this game and move on.

On the offense
We had 41 points with 11 minutes left. They sort of milked the clock out on us there. I was thinking for the first time we might score 50, but we couldn’t quite do it. I think we need to score 50 sometime if we can, but we couldn’t do it tonight.

On the running backs
(Marcus is) a good back. Kenny Miles ran well too. They’re all good backs. Marcus had most of the carries. He’d been the only one healthy the whole preseason. Kenny Miles had some good runs. Jarvis (Giles) had one or two in there. We have some good backs. Marcus played well tonight.

On Connor Shaw
Connor did OK. I told him you have to get the ball out of your hands or you’re going to get clobbered. He likes to run. He had a chance to throw the swing pass at the end. I said, `Why didn’t you throw it?’ and he said, `Coach, he wasn’t looking.’ I said you throw it to the back of his head next time. That was an answer I never quite heard on a swing pass. Anyway, he has a lot of ability. He got clobbered a few times. It was a nice throw and catch to DL Moore. We didn’t get shutout on TD passes. We had one on the night. Had some chances at others but didn’t quite connect to Alshon’s, and the one to Marcus at the end of the half Connor threw behind him.

South Carolina Players

Junior Quarterback Stephen Garcia
On playing the first game of the year
It was good to go against someone else besides our team. Playing against other competition felt a lot better. The defense didn’t know what we were doing as opposed to our defense who knows what we’re doing every play.

On the offense
Scoring 41 points is pretty good. We ran the ball pretty effectively today. (Marcus) Lattimore had a good game. Connor (Shaw) ran the ball well also. That’s good. We need to run the ball very well and take it next week to Georgia.

On the Southern Miss defense
They blitzed a lot more than we anticipated. During the offseason, ever since Coach Spurrier said we need to get the ball out of our hands, that’s pretty much what I did. No yards is better than a loss of five yards.

On having Alshon Jeffery as a receiver
It’s very nice. Just throw the ball up there, and he’ll come down with it. You’ve seen that the past year or so. It’s pretty nice to have him on the team. We have a bunch of receivers like that, but he’s pretty special.

On the running game
That’s good. We were last in the SEC in rushing the past two years and that’s what we need to get going this year is the rushing game. We have the talent and strength up front. If we can run the ball, it’s hard to beat us with our defense playing the way they’re playing.

On Ace Sanders
Ace is pretty unbelievable. I knew he was quick, but I didn’t think he was that quick. The speed on that reverse, I blocked and tried to chase him, but I got tired just watching him run. He’s going to be good for us.

Freshman Quarterback Connor Shaw
On his first collegiate game
It was amazing. Just the opportunity to play at this level for my very first game, the atmosphere was amazing. I tried to take it all in. I just had fun out there.

On if his runs were designed runs
My very first play was a designed run. Other than that, there were a couple but a majority of them were just scrambles.

Freshman Running Back Marcus Lattimore
On tonight’s performance
It was crazy. I’ve never been in an atmosphere like that before. I enjoyed every minute of it. Tonight was everything I expected. Everything that I’ve worked for. We put it all out there tonight, and we played well.

On scoring two touchdowns in his first collegiate game
It was cool. It was a good feeling. The offensive line did well the whole game. They were pounding the defensive line all night. We just kept running at them. I just want to thank them for what they did (the offensive line), but we have Georgia next week.

Freshman Wide Receiver Ace Sanders
On the reverse
All that I was thinking was to just get the ball and go. Our defense has been pretty disciplined in practice, so it wasn’t open as much as it was then, so when it opened up we had to take advantage of it. I’m not as big as all of the other players, so I have to use my speed to my advantage.

Sophomore Wide Receiver Alshon Jeffery
On Stephen Garcia’s runs
That is what type of quarterback we need. That’s the type of player that we need on our football team. Coach Spurrier always tells us to play hard, and that’s what our quarterback did tonight.

On the focus that the team showed
We practice everyday like the next guy wasn’t going to be there. Our goal is to be the most explosive offense in the SEC and in the country. We’re going to do whatever it takes for us to win.

On the importance of winning the first game
It was a great game. It was a good start, but like Coach Spurrier said, we have to work on the little things and get better. We still have a long way to go.

Junior Free Safety Akeem Auguste
On the performance of the defense
We take real pride in our end zone. We don’t let anyone in our box.

Southern Miss Head Coach Larry Fedora

Opening Statement
I’ve got to give credit to South Carolina tonight, they did a heck of a job and played a good game. They obviously were the better team tonight, they made the plays that needed to be made and we didn’t make very many plays in all three phases of the game. We were down in the red zone six times offensively and we went 2-for-6 down there and that’s just not good enough to win ball games.

On the South Carolina secondary
They’re a good football team, there’s no doubt about it, but there’s a point where you’ve got to go and make plays. You’ve got to get it through your head that if the football is in the air, it’s yours and you have to go and make a play on the ball. That’s all there is to it, we just didn’t make any plays tonight.

On giving up so many points
It’s very frustrating, we made too many penalties in the first half, then we give up the big reverse and that was the big play. We just never got our defense off the field and that was very disappointing.

On field goal at end of the first half halting momentum
Well it was more important to get the ball in the end zone and finish a drive off but we were unable to do that. We had two or three drives in the first half where we established tempo and were moving down the field and could not convert. We have a pass deflected that leads to the interception in the red zone. Then there were a few other times where we just couldn’t get it in and we kept shooting ourselves in the foot.

On whether South Carolina did anything he wasn’t prepared for
Not really, there wasn’t anything that we didn’t expect other than maybe a blitz or a front that we had not seen, but nothing out of the ordinary. In the end it just came down to them making more plays than us.

On what he told his team after the game
I told them that you have to give South Carolina credit, they were the better team tonight and they played better in all three phases. And we’re going to play better in all three phases and we’re going to be a good football team. I told them that and I believe that. And we’re going to make sure that we work at a level to become a good football team.

Southern Miss Players

Senior Defensive Back Justin Wilson
On his thoughts about the game
It’s not what we expected. We have to get better next week.

His thoughts on the size of South Carolina’s receivers
We were in the right positions tonight. We just needed to make plays on the ball, and we didn’t make the plays that came to us tonight, and that’s what we preach every week.

On the team’s goal for forced turnovers in the game
Our goal was to get at least three turnovers and obviously we didn’t do that tonight. We’ve got to get better next week.

Junior Linebacker Korey Williams
His thoughts on his play vs. South Carolina
We came up short in eliminating the big plays. We gave up, I think, four explosive plays that were true game changers. They accumulated a lot of yards off of those situations. I feel like that was the big key.

On how the team can correct the performance
We go back to Hattiesburg and we focus in on the next week. We still have the rest of the season to play and have a chance to obtain our goals that we set at the beginning, which was to win the Conference USA championship. We just have to go back and correct the mistakes that we made and try to go into the next game with a full head of steam.

On stopping the run
Every time that happened we had guys in place to make those plays and we just didn’t make the plays that came our way. That’s something that Coach Fedora always talks about. You don’t have to play a fantastic game, you just have to take the opportunity to make the plays that come your way. Myself, I gave up on a sack that I should have had. That was an opportunity that I had.

On South Carolina
They’re a pretty talented team. They came out with it. We made too many mistakes, that’s all, and that’s something you can’t have when you’re playing a team of their caliber.

Junior Quarterback Austin Davis
His thoughts on his performance
Whatever it was it wasn’t good enough. We just couldn’t make the plays that we needed to. I thought we moved the ball. Early in the game I thought we moved the ball well. Early in the game I felt very confident, very calm. Our tempo, our communication was good. We made a few mistakes in the red zone and the score got away from us.

His thoughts on the offensive line
They did a great job. I don’t think it had anything to do with them. I think we just made a few mistakes. We won’t play a better defensive line all season. To have those guys play well, it’s going to help us down the road. I think we knew they were going to be good up front.