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Dec. 4, 2011

South Carolina Head Coach Steve Spurrier
Opening Statement
Around 8:15 p.m. I received a call on my cell phone from the selection committee from the Capital One Bowl (in) Orlando (on) January 2 at 1pm game. They’ve invited us to play in the Capital One Bowl against Nebraska. We certainly accepted and we’re excited to go to this bowl. A lot of teams, coaches and players think this is one of the best bowl trips in the country as far as opportunity to go to Disney World and a lot of the attractions in the area. We’re looking forward to it. Our team has a lot to play for. It’s an opportunity to have the best record in school history here going for that 11th win. We know it won’t be easy, but we’re looking forward to the challenge, going to Orlando and participating in the Capital One Bowl.

On how much he knows the Nebraska staff
Not too much. (Nebraska Head Coach Bo Pellini) and Bob Stoops are good friends. He worked for Bobby several years back before he went to LSU and got the head job at Nebraska. They were one of the unluckiest teams in the country. They could have won two Big 12 championships (in 2010 and 2009) … they’re a tough bunch. We all know the history of Nebraska football – one of the really super tradition university’s for college football in the nation. They’ll come to play, we know that. Big test for our guys. They’re a lot more of a running team than passing team, so defensively it will be a challenge for our guys to face a different style of offense.

On the Capital One bowl
Very nice to be down there. Carol Monroe who works with the Capital One Bowl, she’s always said she hoped to get us down there someday and get the South Carolina Gamecocks in that bowl game. We’re excited to be there. We know our guys have played well. I’m proud of our team. We did not beat ourselves. We didn’t have any of those real bad plays you see other teams have and so forth, so we’re looking forward to going down there and competing. I know we haven’t played well in some bowl games the last two or three years, but every team is different.

On finishing ninth in the BCS final standings and the AP/USA Today Top 10
Finishing in the top 10 was one of the goals our guys set at the beginning of the season. I think there’s another vote after the bowl games, but as far as the regular season, finishing in the top 10 I guess is something we can brag about. I haven’t thought about that, but it’s pretty neat.

On playing in the Capital One Bowl
The biggest thing for us is it is an opportunity to play in a prestigious bowl. I think the payout is the largest after the BCS games. It’s ranked right there with the best bowls in the country. We have a lot to play for, going for that 11th win and getting a shot to be the winningest team in school history. We’re looking forward to regrouping, trying to get a solid game plan, playing our best and then whatever happens happens down there. On his approach after losing the last three bowl games
We hope the senior leadership on this team is a little different. We have no excuses. We just had our tails beat the last three bowl games, and we’ll try not to get beat this time. We’ll try to balance it the right way. Hopefully our players and coaches know the importance of this game.

On juniors who may have the chance to go to the NFL
We encouraged all of our third-year players to do the evaluation with the NFL and make a good logical decision. All the statistics say if you’re not a first round pick you should stay and play a fourth year of college ball. We’ll have to see what their projections are and what they decide to do.

On injuries
Alshon (Jeffery) should be back and Terrence (Campbell) should be back. All our guys with little nicks and so forth should be back in a couple of weeks.

Sophomore Quarterback Connor Shaw
On preparing as the starting quarterback now compared to the East Carolina game
It’s a lot different when you get thrown in the fire. The main thing is your confidence boosts. Game in and game out your confidence grows as much as you play.

On his touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffery to cap the Clemson game
It was a pretty special play, especially by him with a broken hand to make an excellent catch. It was pretty special to top that game off, and hopefully we can get that connection in the bowl game as well.

On Nebraska
When you think Nebraska, you think tradition. They used to be a powerhouse and still are a very good football team. It’s going to be exciting for us, and everyone’s looking forward to it.

On his body frame as a mobile quarterback in the SEC
I feel comfortable now, but I’ll try to gain weight (in the offseason). I want to try to be 210 next year. I’m at 205 right now, but I feel comfortable with how I am right now.

On playing a bowl game in Orlando
I don’t think distractions will get to us much. We have an 11th win we’re playing for. We’ll have our fun, but when it’s time we’ll be ready.

Senior Defensive Tackle Travian Robertson
On making a bowl game
We’ll start practice next week and stay focused. We haven’t won a bowl game since we’ve been here. We’re going to focus on winning and try to get us that 11th win.

On trying to end a three-game winless stretch in bowl games
Our fans go to the bowl game every year and support us. We have a tough game against Nebraska and we owe it to our fans to try to go out and get the win.

On being from North Carolina and playing at South Carolina
I think a lot of people from my hometown now see the real Carolina is South Carolina. Growing up all they hear is Tar Heels and N.C. State, but now that me and Melvin (Ingram) have been playing a long time, I see a lot of gamecock gear.

On his best memory from South Carolina
I’d say graduating from here. I never thought I’d be able to graduate from college. If you would have asked me 10 years sago if I was going to graduate from college, I would have told you no. That’s something I wanted to do for myself and do for my family.

On playing alongside friend Melvin Ingram during Ingram’s breakout season
The sack that I did get at Clemson, he was right there, but I’m glad he missed so I could get it. I’m not tired of (Melvin getting big plays) at all. Melvin stepped up. I’ve known him a long time. He’s a playmaker. If I get a chance to get them, I’ll get them. Every game we say I’ll meet you back there. He’s a lot quicker than I am so I always tell him when a lot of teams double team me and leave him open, `I don’t know what they’re thinking.’ He’s a guy that every game you look at to make a play. I remember the Mississippi State game, we were both tired, and I looked up and he was in the quarterbacks face and got the interception. He deserves everything he’s getting and I’m proud of him.

On Nebraska
Nebraska is a good team. I’ve heard a lot about them. They have a great offensive line. I think it will be a great game. We respect them, and I’m pretty sure they respect us. I’m looking forward to preparing for them and watching film. I know our coaches will put us in the right position to get a victory, and all we have to do is go out and play.

Senior Defensive End Melvin Ingram
On trying to end a three-game winless stretch in bowl games
The common thing is we didn’t go out and get it done. This year we’ll try to get out and prepare harder mentally and physically to get it done.

On being a fifth-year senior with a degree
It’s been a long journey. Just keeping our noses clean and staying focused is our motivation to 1) be a successful person before being a successful football player. We came to go to school first and then play football. That’s why when you sign a letter of intent it says student-athlete instead of (football player).

On the perception of South Carolina’s program in North Carolina
It’s changed. We’re just trying to build a winning tradition, so we feel like every week is a stepping-stone for our program. We went from losing six games our freshman year to being 10-2 and going to the Capital One Bowl.

On his best memory from South Carolina
My favorite memory is getting the opportunity to play college football at the Division 1 level and being here with Travian (Robertson), Byron (McKnight) and all the people that came from North Carolina to South Carolina. I don’t really have one just particular moment, but I’d say all five years.