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Sep 3, 2013

September 3, 2013

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Junior offensive guard AJ Cann
On Spurrier’s thoughts about UGA:

He talked to us a lot about being prepared for every game, and be prepared for Georgia like we always do, like we always do for any team. It’s Georgia-South Carolina there’s a lot more hype for it then probably most games, and we are going to be hyped for it too.

On playing in a big stadium against a good team:
My first time playing at Georgia was really my first away game as a redshirt freshman. It was loud, and that’s probably what you’re going to remember at every away game. We just need to come out and focus and try to get ahead and quiet the crowd and maybe things will go our way and we will be alright.

Senior defensive end Chaz Sutton
On the last three wins against GA

Just remain focus, just know what’s ahead of us, always go in prepared for any situation in a game, because adversity is always going to hit, so when it hits you either stay focused or you’re going to fold. The main thing for us as a team is for us to stay focused and just grind it out and remain that way throughout the whole game, the whole 60 minutes.

On significance of Georgia:
Personally it is always great to just go home and know we have the win over our shoulders and came out with a “W.” You always have those bragging rights when you go back home to Savannah. It’s always a bragging rights thing and we always want to go into this game being prepared to win.

On shutting down Aaron Murray and Georgia’s offense:
The thing with Georgia is they want to establish the run early, if they can establish the run early then they have success. As long as we can stop the run, and get after the quarterback on third down we can control the game upfront and throughout the level two and level three of defense. It’s just all about how we establish ourselves as a defense early in the game.

Sophomore safety T.J. Gurley
On coming back from the injury:

It’s just the mental part like getting the game back and getting your calls back and getting out there and showing your coaches you can play with a knee brace on and running around.

On facing Georgia’s offense
We have to stop Todd Gurley, we’ve got to hit him before he gets started, because when he get started he’s a really big back, he can make moves, and he’s got thick thighs so when you hit him you really have to allocate a tackle, you can’t just go in throwing the shoulders. We really have to stop the running game. If we can’t stop the running game, it’s going to be a long night.

South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier

Opening Remarks:
Okay, we are tied for the division lead right now. With Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, all of us! But I guess conference play starts, and obviously we always have a big one with Georgia, but we’ve also learned that the winner does not necessarily win the Eastern Division. It does put the winner in pretty good shape, but it doesn’t always certainly determine the winner. So we’ve got to go in there hoping to play our best, hoping to improve upon last week’s game and beat a team that was preseason number 5.

I think it’s another sellout, a national TV game, so it’s always one of our big ones of the year, as we have several. Our team is pretty healthy, I think right now, I think Busta Anderson is trying to get back to playing, Bruce Ellington is a hundred percent, and defensively I think most of our guys are healthy and ready to go. So we look forward to going over there and see if we can have one of our best games in a long time and hopefully our best game of the season when we play the Bulldogs.

On Connor Shaw’s first start in Athens:
Yes, it’s his first start going into his home state. Hopefully, he will not be too fired-up. Quarterbacks have to think, they have to make quick decisions and so forth. Hopefully concentrating on what he needs to do will be what he takes his focus into the game with, the decisions he has to make.

On UGA’s offense against Clemson:
Certainly, they have had good offense the last several years with Aaron Murray there. They had over 500 yards, and so forth last week, and it was a pretty close game as we all know, Georgia sort of muffed their field goal attempt and their holder didn’t catch it, and Clemson made their field goal, and Clemson scored touchdowns down inside the 10, two or three times on third down plays. So, of course, those games like that, when it’s that close, one or two plays decide the games. And we have been fortunate, a little bit in the past also, scoring touchdowns and not having to kick field goals. The Michigan game, for example, we scored all touchdowns and couldn’t make a field goal, which was good enough to win. Hopefully, as the season goes, we can score touchdowns.

On Cody Waldrop:
Cody is one injury that is a wait and see. I forgot about him, I shouldn’t have, because he is a key player, anytime your starting center has a foot sprain. I think Wednesday and Thursday they will try and let him do a bit and hopefully by Saturday he will be okay.

On recent success against Georgia
We haven’t talked too much about that, we have just talked about the ball game and keep pursuing a lot of the goals we have this year. We are going to try and win the division and this is a crucial game there, so that is basically what we are talking about, what we need to do, try to beat these guys, all of our players know what our goals are so that’s something we don’t need to talk about too much. Just talk about playing your assignment’s the best you can, so we started thinking about Georgia, oh pretty much, when the North Carolina game was over. We had Willy Nelson’s “Georgia on My Mind” playing yesterday. Most of our players thought it was Ray Charles, but we always play that. We always put that music on during stretching. So that’s all we are trying to do, get Georgia on our mind, the plays we think that’ll give us a chance to beat them. They are a good team, they’ll be ready for us, you know they got beat last week so they’ll be ready.

On new defensive faces of UGA:
I think they get one of their starting safety, nickelback guys back from suspension, I think one of the others is still on suspension, so they don’t have as many as they used to, but we’ve got some too now, they aren’t the only school with guys suspended, we had two last week first half suspensions due to academic reasons, but they’ll get some of their starters back. I think I read that two of them will be back and ready to go. It was unfortunate that the receiver jumped up in the air on the touchdown, came down funny and you can get hurt that way, obviously, I try to tell you guys to be careful in your celebrations, because you can come down the wrong way and tear a knee up, which is what happened to their player.

On key to success against UGA in career:
Just our guys play a little bit better than their guys. Two years ago, we had three defensive scores and a special team score in that 45-42 game; that was sort of a miracle we beat them that day, we lost some to them where we had a real good chance of winning, also. It’ll probably be a close one, the team that makes a play at the end of the fourth will probably be the winner.

On true freshman kicker, Elliot Fry:
We had confidence in Elliot, when you check his record he’s pretty good in the games in high school, even though he didn’t kick in front of big crowds. Pretty easy going, confident young man, and we felt like he would do well and he took the call and hopefully, he will make all his kicks again.

On starting quickly against UGA:
We started quickly against Georgia last year, we threw that quick pass to Damiere Byrd, away from their safety, the ball was underthrown a little bit. Damiere made a heck of a play to get us there and then we hit Bruce (Ellington) quickly. Had a punt return, I mean it was a game that Georgia did not play well at all, but they regrouped and I think won the rest of their games until they got to Atlanta for the championship, so who knows how this one will turn out.

On Clowney:
Well J.D. is ready to play, I think one thing he learned is that the camera is on him all the time now. It wasn’t on him last year, it was on him on the replays after he made sacks, big plays and stuff like that, but every play the camera is on him. So he knows that and hopefully he is ready to go. It was a hot day last week as we all know, and sometimes the heat effects people in different ways, it affected him no questions about it and hopefully we can get him a little bit better prepared physically to go the distance against Georgia.

On the large number of Georgia players:
Our success overall has helped us recruit the state of Georgia, I think a lot of you maybe know that the state of Georgia, I believe, has produced more Division-1 players than any state in the country. They passed Florida two or three years ago. So there’s so many players in greater-Atlanta and the state of Georgia, if we can go in there and get our share, a two and a half hour, three hour drive from greater-Atlanta, that’s going to help us. And I think it helps us when we play Georgia. We’ve got so many Georgia players, I know our North Carolina kids were fired up a little extra last week playing UNC, so I think it’s beneficial to have players from that state.