Sept. 16, 2012
Head Coach Steve Spurrier
Every game is a little different. This was one of the closest 49-6 game I’ve ever been around. They stuffed us pretty good the first half. We were fortunate to get what points we could. Seems like we couldn’t get a guy open or hit anybody. It was a struggle. We hit some big passes. Connor (Shaw) made a beautiful throw to Bruce (Ellington) before the first half and a long pass to Bruce and long pass to Damiere (Byrd), and we pretty much got it out of reach for them. They were only 5-of-19 on third downs. We were 6-of-12. A lot of those were 3rd-and-10s. Give those guys credit. They had 79 plays to our 58. That was a long game. We didn’t play real smart at times tonight. Our guys were excellent in the red zone defense. We had some gracious penalties early, too. Anyway, it’s over now. We’ll enjoy this one tonight and start to get ready for our conference games next week starting with Missouri, Kentucky and on down the line. The real SEC season is getting ready to start. We feel thankful and fortunate we got a win over Vanderbilt. Hopefully we can play better next week.
On Connor Shaw
Connor got hit on that sore spot in his back. As soon as he threw it the guy hit him on that spot. It was painful. Before the game I said `If you get hit will you be hurting?’ He said, `No, I’m alright.’ The trainers and doctors all cleared him. I thought he earned and deserved the chance to start. He struggled early there. Fortunately he got a good throw to Bruce (Ellington), but he struggled. He seemed to be tentative or maybe hesitant.
On Dylan Thompson
He did okay. He was jittery there early. I’ve never had a touchdown drive where we threw one interception, they dropped another and then we scored a touchdown (on the same drive). He was a little jittery but said, `I’ll be fine. I was a little too wound up.’ He settled in and made some beautiful throws. (He) hit Damiere (Byrd) on the money, Bruce Ellington on the deep one and Shaq Roland on the post route there.
On the defense
Our defense played well down in the red zone. They were on the field a bunch that first half and had some penalty-aided drives. The red zone defense we played was outstanding obviously. To hold them to six points all night was a super defensive effort. That’s sort of what we expect from our guys. We think we should be that kind of defense most of the time.
On 200 career collegiate wins
Two hundred wins, I don’t know what to say about it. I have 47 others (in the professional leagues) so it sort of blends in. I can assure you the others were just as important as the ones in college. They all sort of blend in. I’m hoping for (win) 201 next week.
On Marcus Lattimore
That was neat for Marcus to get the most touchdowns. He got one (today). He’s the career leader in touchdowns around here and hadn’t played but about two seasons. He’s had a lot bigger games than tonight. He’ll be ready when these big games start rolling around next week.
On when he’ll make the starting quarterback decision
We’ll see how they both feel in practice and go from there. I won’t worry about it a lot. We’ll play whoever we think is the best to go out there at the time. Injuries, we’ll take into consideration and so forth.
Defensive Coordinator Lorenzo Ward
On Jadeveon Clowney
I think Jadeveon played well the first two ballgames. He didn’t have a lot of stats or sacks, but I think he’s been disruptive, and he played well tonight.
On the early big plays by UAB
I don’t think it’s just the secondary. We play 11 guys on defense. We’ll evaluate what went wrong early and look at the film tomorrow, but we made the corrections at halftime. I have to make sure I put them in the right situations and the right coverages.
On creating turnovers
We want to be able to create plays for our offense, whether that’s causing a turnover or putting them in great field position. That’s something we practiced in two-a-days and continue to do today.
On the red zone defense
It’s the attitude, that stuff we talked about all summer. We want to protect our home. When we get in the red zone, we want to try to raise our level of play. If we can’t keep people out of the end zone, we don’t have a chance to win a lot of football games.
Junior Quarterback Connor Shaw
On his injury
I just landed on the same spot I got hit against Vanderbilt. The pain was up there. I had a shot and got some pain pills.
It’s just sore and real tight right now. It’s the same crack in my shoulder blade. Hopefully I’ll be back next week. I felt good coming in today. I felt like I could come in and play. Obviously the more I threw the more it hurt.
Sophomore Quarterback Dylan Thompson
On his start tonight
It was an ugly start, that’s for sure. It was obviously different than last week. Unfortunately Connor (Shaw) went down. You never want to see that happen. You come in and have a few bad plays, it’s not the best start, but I got fortunate. I came back and just tried to keep my head. We went down and were able to score. I’m glad to see that we bounced back. We have a great team on offense, and it makes my job easier.
On his thoughts going into next week’s SEC game
Going into next week’s game, the biggest thing for a lot of players are nerves and worrying. For me personally, I just put full confidence in God. I know he’ll be constant. I can’t rely on the ups and downs of football. Going into next week, that’s what I’ll hold on to.
Senior Free Safety D.J. Swearinger
On the fumble return for a touchdown
I was on the blitz and we got pressure from the front side. I think it was Devin [Taylor] that got pressure. We saw they lost the ball and I picked it up and took it the distance. It was a game changing moment and we needed it to give us a boost in the game.
On how the defense has played in the first three games
We did a great job last week at getting lined up. This game we had some things that we definitely can get better on, but we held them to six points and they got in our red zone a lot and that’s always a plus not letting them score.
Sophomore Defensive End Jadeveon Clowney
On if this was his best game
It gets better each week. I think I was better than I was last week. As weeks go on you try to improve each game and just go out there and play hard.
On playing the `rabbit’ formation
It’s pretty fun. You’re in go mode and you’re after the quarterback. And that’s one of the things I like to do, make sacks on the quarterback.
Junior Tailback Marcus Lattimore
On breaking the touchdown record
It’s something that I found out like a week ago and it’s a big accomplishment. Just to be mentioned with George Rogers and Harold Green is crazy and I’m glad I broke it [the record].
On coming back from injuries and breaking the touchdown record
Around this time last year I was playing but three weeks later I tore my knee up. All the hard work and dedication I put in just to get back on the field and to have a big accomplishment like that feels good.
Sophomore Wide Receiver Bruce Ellington
On if there is more of an emphasis on getting him the ball recently
I’m just out there running my routes and as a receiver I have to run my routes good because every time I look back I think the ball is coming to me. Dylan [Thompson] did a great job of staying in the pocket and also Connor [Shaw] did a great job at throwing the ball.
UAB Head Coach Garrick McGee
I’m really proud of our team. I think that our team really hung in there and played with a great attitude for a long time. I thought they did a good job on Marcus Lattimore who is one of the more dominating football players in the country. I think we went in at halftime and he only had about 30 yards, so I’m really proud of our kids. They really hung in there and competed with one of the top teams in the country for a long time in the game. I think there were some things that went on during the game that got them frustrated. The fact that we couldn’t run the football gave them more opportunities to score. But, like I said, I’m really proud of our team. I think we are developing, and I think we are getting in position to go after the Conference USA championship. Even though in the win column it doesn’t show it, we are a better football team than we were two weeks ago.
On if it was tough to get over South Carolina’s big plays
It shouldn’t be because that’s the way the game goes, but when you are dealing with young kids at some point it does set in on you. It shouldn’t though, you have to be mentally tough enough to keep playing, no matter what you’re going through. That’s what we are developing, and we are going to get it. I really like our team. They got better this week.
On South Carolina’s defensive line
I think their defensive front is one of the top defensive fronts in the country. I think at some point in the game they are going to put pressure on any quarterback in the country, that’s just how good they are. I think (Jadeveon) Clowney is arguably the best player in college football. Those guys are going to put pressure on the quarterback, so I don’t think it has anything to do with pressure, I just think they are very talented.
Senior Offensive Lineman Chris Hubbard
On playing against South Carolina’s defensive line
We went up against them pretty well. They are a good defensive line and a good front. I feel like we managed pretty well against them even with the blitzes. We just have to get better.
On holding the pocket
We held the pocket pretty well, just holding on to the blocks. Whenever the pocket is closing just giving that extra minute to make a okay is big.
Freshman Safety Jake Ganus
On what he learned about his team
That we can play. I felt like we can play with anybody. We had a great first half defensive wise and the offense controlled the ball. I learned that this team can play and battle with anybody
On missed opportunities
It was really difficult because I felt like that dropped interception was a game changer. It could have gone for six our way to the next play South Carolina scored on a big pass. I feel like that was huge. I am going to cut that stuff out, and I’m going to be better next week.
On Dylan Thompson coming in for Connor Shaw at quarterback for South Carolina
I don’t think that affected us negatively. I think they had some more confidence because he came in right away throwing it. I think we knew right away that he was throwing it because Connor Shaw is a much more running type of player and Thompson likes to throw it. So our plays we still called the same, but he did a great job.
Freshman Linebacker Chris Rabb
On defending against Marcus Lattimore
I think we did pretty well. We prepared for him all week. We had tight ends line up at running back to get us ready to tackle a big back like that. We just played pretty well. I think we expected to come in here and contain him.
On focus on stopping the run
It has been our number one priority going in to practice every day. We just run zone, zone, zone and that’s all we really do. We just have to try to stop it. That’s all we’ve really been working on the last two weeks.