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Sept. 18, 2010

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

South Carolina Head Coach Steve Spurrier

Opening Statement
We’re happy to beat Furman. They probably out played us, out hit us, probably out-toughed us a little bit, but we are fortunate to make a lot of third downs early in the game. I think we made 9-of-13. It was tough out there. It was tough moving the ball against these guys. They were tough to block.

A lot of guys had pretty good games. We played pretty careless at times tonight, which obviously gave Furman a chance to win the game. They were only down 11 with about eight, or nine minutes left. Stephon Gilmore’s interception was the play that took their heart out to end the game.

Pretty sad some of the things that happened, but hopefully it happened in a game where we had a decent lead. We can try to prevent those things in the future. Connor Shaw was 4-of-5 again, threw some beautiful passes. Maybe we need to let him play a little bit more at times. But other than that, it was a little disappointing. Our offensive line just had a lot of missed assignments and sort of got run over or something happened. I’m not sure what happened exactly, but they didn’t play near as well I think they had the first couple of games. But, we’ll get back to work here and see if we can line up for the next game when we go play Auburn.

On Furman
They (Furman) did a good job. Furman does a good job. Just like Wofford, several years ago. We did run a little bit tonight. We made 182 yards. We got jammed a few times. Maybe we had some bad plays called, and obviously Stephen’s (Garcia) two interceptions. I didn’t know you could throw an interception on a hitch and a swing pass, but that was a bad call on my part. I told the guys I need to quit calling those plays that he can throw interceptions for touchdowns the other way. We aren’t going to throw that swing pass anymore.

But we made some third downs. Stephen had some good throws here and there, and Alshon (Jeffrey) caught about everything. Tori Gurley had a good game. We gave Tori a game ball. He caught some passes and blocked well also. We had a lot of guys play well, but overall it wasn’t out best. But we’re happy to win the game and move on.

On converting in the red zone
It was very good. And we made a bunch of third downs. I thought we had a chance to make a good offensive night. We couldn’t make 400 yards on Furman. We had 65 plays; we had a lot of plays. But give those guys credit, they play smart and play tough and I think they’ll go on and have a good year.

On the timing of Connor Shaw entering the game
He was going in the second quarter. (The interception thrown by Garcia) didn’t have anything to do with it. It turned out Stephen came back in the game. (Shaw) was set to go. Stephen had a lot of good plays, but he had some bad plays I wish we could get rid of. We’ll keep working on it.

On the play of the offensive line with the injuries
When Rokevious (Watkins) went down, A.J. Cann, a true freshman, was in there at left guard. But, I don’t know if it was him so much, as our other guard missed a few assignments, a bunch of assignments, so it wasn’t necessarily that we were thin. We just didn’t play extremely well, in appeared. We’ll have to watch the tape to find out. A lot of guys played pretty well. You just have to give Furman credit. They are a pretty good team.

On Spencer Lanning’s field goal
He’s a good kicker. He is reaching in practice all the time from 51 (yards). He punted beautifully. We need to shorten him up a little bit when we punt from midfield. He’s having a super year, and he’s an outstanding kicker and punter.

On the things he thinks the team needs to work on
Blocking. Number two (Furman’s Adam Mims), he’s pretty quick. We had trouble tackling him at times. Other than that, blocking and taking care of the ball. Our quarterbacks taking care of the ball, I should say. Not giving the opponent anything. We gave them 10 points tonight, which kept them a little bit alive. We were a little careless at times. Maybe we can get in the ball game next week with Auburn and play those guys as smart as we can.

On the pressure put on Furman by the defensive line
We had pretty good pressure I think most of the night. Cliff Matthews I think had an excellent game. I think the D-line and linebackers really all played well. They didn’t run the ball very well, 51 yards on 27 carries. We played good defense except for a couple plays.

South Carolina Assistant Head Coach/Assistant Coach – Defense Ellis Johnson

On tonight’s defensive performance
Saw a little bit of what happened on the field in practice, a little lapse of concentration and so forth. Overall, we played what I think was a very good football team. I thought our pass rush was good, and we got to the quarterback some. Coverage was not bad at times, didn’t play man-to-man very well.

South Carolina Players

Junior Quarterback Stephen Garcia
On his performance
We won, so that is really the main concern. We kind of sputtered in the second half, and there were some plays you wish you could take back, but the main thing is we won. We just need to move forward.

On the interception that was returned for a touchdown
I’m not sure. We’ll see what happens on Monday watching the tape. Jarriel (King) is supposed to cut the guy, the D-end, so we’re looking down the field. So I can’t see if the guy is on the ground or not. I just threw it to (Bryce) Sherman, and the Furman player was standing there, so there wasn’t anything I could do.

On Furman having a shot to win in the fourth quarter
Obviously, they have some pretty good athletes on their team. Number two (Adam Mims) was one of the fastest players on the field. They played really hard, and they played the whole game. That’s what I think makes them so tough.

On if Coach Spurrier said anything to him when he came out
No. He and Coach (G.A.) Mangus wanted to get Connor (Shaw) reps with the first team, get him some game experience. That’s why he played in the first half. He didn’t say anything about any of the plays except the last one. He was telling me to throw it. He is really the only person I ever really hear when I’m on the field, so I threw it. He came back and asked me why I threw it afterwards.

On Marcus Lattimore
I’m not sure what his stats were today, but he ran the ball extremely well again. I think Furman tackled better today than Georgia did last week. It was a hard game, but we are fortunate that Stephon Gilmore had a pick-six there at the end. We just have to play better. We can’t play like that and beat Auburn at Auburn. We just need to get better.

On if the team needs to improve to compete next week vs. Auburn
Definitely. SEC opponent, they are undefeated right now – I know they are in a tight match with Clemson right now. Playing at Auburn, I’ve never played there before, or been there before, but I’ve heard its really loud. We need to play a lot better and have a great week of practice.

Junior Defensive Tackle Travian Robertson On pass rush
We were more focused tonight. Coach asked us to get them down and get in their face and affect the quarterback.

Freshman Running Back Marcus Lattimore
On amount of carries
As many carries as I need to win the game.

On away game at Auburn
It’s going to be real fun, our first away game. Just got to get ready for them. We are going to practice real hard this week. We will be ready.

On judging his play through three games
I think I have done ok. I got some stuff I can work on, blocking assignments and being a little bit more patient, but I think I have done ok.

Sophomore Wide Receiver Alshon Jeffery
On Furman
They gave us their best shot, but I think we slacked off a little bit. Like Coach Spurrier said, we got to work hard and finish games off.

On being ready for Auburn
We’ve got to prepare for the game, but we are ready for any opponent.

On reaching 1,000 career yards
It’s a great accomplishment, but I got to keep working hard. The team has to keep working hard.

Sophomore Cornerback Stephon Gilmore
On the Interception
I made a good play on the ball. They didn’t throw to my side too many times, but when they did I tried to make a play on the ball. They had a lot of momentum until that play, but our defense calmed down and ended up making the play on the ball.

On Auburn
Auburn is a good team. We just have to come in Monday, practice hard, and watch the film, and we should be okay.

On Furman
They were a good team. They weren’t going to give up. They were fundamentally sound, so they did well.

Furman Head Coach Bobby Lamb

We came down here to win the game. I know people don’t believe me when I say it, but we practice every week and we practice to win every game we play. Our kids played extremely hard. We had some adversity as well. Forcier went out early, and we had a good game plan for him. At the offensive guard spot our starter didn’t get cleared due to a concussion. Ryan Storm started his first college game in his spot, and he gets hurt at halftime. Will White, who had never played in a college football game, played the whole second half at offensive guard. We could have folded at 14-0, and they could have run us out of the stadium, but we made some things happen.

On Adam Mims’ performance
I told some of the South Carolina coaches before the game that we had one guy that could run with their guy, and that’s number two [Adam Mims]. And every one of them came over after the game and said, `You’re right, he can play.’ We got him the ball in a lot of situations, and we’ve got to do this every game. We have to move him around. He’s just too valuable to us.

On the defense
I thought we tackled well early. They got us on a couple of deep balls, and I knew they would. They’ve got big, tall, physical receivers. One of their receivers came over, and I thought he was a left tackle he was so big. We got a big play by a freshman [Shawn Boone] in his second game. He made an athletic play on the interception for a touchdown.

On quarterback Chris Forcier’s injury
[Chris] Forcier is at the hospital getting x-rays right now, so we don’t really know. It’s dealing with his left shoulder. It’s probably not a good injury. He’ll most likely be out for a while.

Thoughts on the rest of the season
We came down here to win the game, and we thought we had a chance to win the game. From here on out, every one of them counts, and we want to win a Southern Conference championship. The only way to do that is to win all your conference games, and that starts next week with The Citadel. Every game from here on out counts. You can’t slip up in this league.

Furman Players

Junior Bandit Sterling Johnson
On playing well against an SEC opponent
This makes us feel great, but it also hurts tonight that we lost the game of course and that we also came to the game expecting to win. Going forward, there probably aren’t going to be that many teams with the level of talent that this team (South Carolina) has. As long as we play our hardest and play as hard as we did tonight, we don’t see anybody stopping us.

Junior Center Daniel Spisak
On the offenive state of mind when the game was close late
Offensively we always have the mind set to never give up and to keep playing. We knew it was going to be a difficult game because they have a very fast and physical defense. Later into the game we knew it would be tough but if we kept fighting we knew we would have a chance to pull one out. We just kept fighting and whatever happens, happens. We were fortunate enough to have an opportunity to come back and win the game, so we just thought that if you keep playing, you will always have a chance.

On Furman’s offense getting stronger as the game went on
The biggest jump from FCS to FBS is the speed of the defense. They are very fast and physical. So the first couple of drives and series we were ready, but we still had to adjust to the speed of the game. So as the game went on we calmed down and adjusted to the speed of their defense, and we were able to perform as we did.

On playing well against an SEC opponent
South Carolina has a very good team, and it is a huge confidence boost if you can come in and hang with them all four quarters, just play your hearts out and play your guts out and have a chance to win. It’s boosting our confidence a lot knowing that we can perform at the highest level possible. Even though this is a loss, it is a good learning experience for us knowing that we can perform and do very well. So, we just have to come off of this motivated and be ready to play The Citadel. I don’t know how they are, but I’m sure they are locked and loaded to play us. So we have to take the confidence and motivation from this game and take it into next week.