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Nov. 23, 2013

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


Head Coach Steve Spurrier

Opening Statement
We had Coastal Carolina outmanned and outsized. I’m really proud of our guys, they played well. I didn’t know it was going to end up like this; I didn’t know we were going to end up with 42 at the half. We scored about every time and messed up once and our defense played very well, so we kept getting the ball back. Connor being the winningest quarterback here, his record is a little better than Todd Ellis’ too. So I have to remind Todd that, I didn’t know he had that many losses over those years. I’m just kidding though. Obviously Connor played very well early when we got a comfortable lead and then Dylan [Thompson] came in and hit some good ones. But again, the entire team played well. We wish Coastal the very best in the playoffs and I think they are the Big South champs. They are to be commended on being their conference champs. Something we hope to do some day, and we’re still alive for this year so we’ll see what happens down the road. It’s neat to get nine wins. We’ve averaged ten wins and hopefully we can add a few more as we go through the rest of this season. And like I told the team, we’re very healthy. I don’t think anyone got hurt today. We should have Kelcy Quarles back next week, Jadeveon should be back next week and Mike Davis could have played if we needed him to today, so he’ll be full go. Jamari Smith had over 100 yards I noticed in his first few carries as a Gamecock. He’s a good back and a good player so we may go back and give him a game ball.

On the entire offense experiencing some game action
You need a game like this, usually they come early in the season, big SEC schools have a game like this. This is where you run up the stats, and we very seldom have a game like this. I think this is the first game since Troy in 2010. Troy is the last time we were able to empty the bench and get everybody in and let everyone catch a pass and run the ball. For those guys to get to run a pass and catch the ball in Williams-Brice it’s fun and rewarding for them. So it’s neat that we could do that for them.

On Brandon Wilds and Pharoh Cooper
When Pharoh busted that one up the middle, you noticed he kind of high-stepped one of the guys diving toward his feet, and I told Everett Sands, you need to tell all those running backs and some of the receivers to learn to jump out of the way of those guys diving at your ankles. We’ve had a lot guys get us with that last swipe at the legs. Pharoh is a ballplayer, and we know that. And all he needs to do is run it three or four times a game and catch a few passes. Pharaoh is obviously a talent. Brandon also had a good game. He’s a big back who can knock that pile backwards so he could be instrumental in the next few ball games. He runs that zone read off the tackle plays very well so it was good to see him have a good game.

On his approach next week for Clemson using Shaw and Thompson
It will probably be the same, Dylan is going to play somewhere in there. In fact, Dylan was all set to go in on that third possession. And I said wait a minute, let Connor go in for a second we had that turnover on the five or six-yard line and a penalty back to the 25-yard line. I said let’s let Connor go ahead and hopefully get that third touchdown and then you throw the next one, which is what we did . But we had a lot of good plays. We had some plays where we had to scramble around and make something happen. Against really good top-flight teams, obviously we probably don’t make those scramble plays. But we were good on fourth downs again. But I’m proud of our team, we got our ninth win and we’re in position to hopefully make something big happen this year.

Defensive Coordinator Lorenzo Ward

On players staying focused
That’s the thing we talked about. It wasn’t about who we were playing. Those guys, they watch the film, and they know Coastal Carolina won ten games. We hoped to be in a position to play a lot of players, and we were in that position. We told them all that we expect them to go out there and perform. I think that’s the difference between us now and in the past. We’ve had to play so many young guys early, when we do play second and third team guys, they have experience. I’m proud of them.

On confidence going into Clemson
It’s not about who we play next. It’s about us getting better each week and that’s what we talk about. When we have 11 guys doing what they’re supposed to do each play, we have a chance. When we try and be selfish and do thing we’re not supposed to then we aren’t going to be very good on defense and that’s what I told them at halftime. We missed some plays in the first half that we should have made.

Senior Quarterback Connor Shaw

On being the winningest quarterback
Obviously, it’s pretty special to me. Just the way we did it today too, our whole offense did really great and it was fun to watch. It’s good that nobody got hurt so it was an overall good day for us.

On the Clemson rivalry
I guess each of us both (he and Dylan Thompson) played one game against [Clemson]. It’s going to be special for us. It’s going to be Senior Night for me, so hopefully we can come out and play hard against them.

On going into the Clemson game with momentum
It’s always good for the [offense and defense] to play so well. And I think our offense needed this big time. I think we may have a little bit of momentum, but we just need to prepare well this week.

On running the ball more today
This is the best it’s felt since the Tennessee game. Obviously, it was good to get out there. I don’t think I got tackled once, maybe pushed out of bounds. It’s good to get out of there with no injuries, but I thought it felt good.

Junior Quarterback Dylan Thompson

On the Clemson Rivalry
We know how big the game is. Being from in-state, I’ve been around it my whole life. My sister went there so it will be a big game for both of us.

On Pharoh Cooper
Pharoh is just a great player and a great athlete. He can play multiple positions. I think he started camp out at DB. He’s a very talented guy, works hard and I think he’s just going to continue to get better.

On the week ahead
I’ve got a lot of respect for Clemson and we’re going to prepare the best we can. We’ll be ready for a big, tough game.

On potentially being a part of the first Carolina team to beat Clemson five years in a row I think it’s important. But I think it’s more important that Clemson is the next game on our schedule. We just have to come in with the same mindset we’ve had all year. Just whoever is up next we’re going to try and prepare for them. Just come together and have a good plan and play our best. We’re just focusing on the game like any other one.

Junior Cornerback Victor Hampton

On his interception
They had completed a couple of passes down the seam, and we were playing zone pressure. I knew I had to play for both of their receivers, and I just made a good decision.

On getting ready for Clemson
Next week, we have Clemson coming in, and we have the chance to continue our winning streak at home. We definitely don’t want to give that up, so we don’t want to lose this game against Clemson.

On staying focused
We struggled with it earlier in the year, but I think since it happened early, it prepared us for situations like this. We are able to go in and stay focused.

Sophomore Tailback Brandon Wilds

On returning to game action
It felt great. I knew when I got back in the game that I had to do something big. It felt good to be back.

On the Clemson game
I’m very excited. It has been awhile since I’ve played them, so I’m looking forward to it.

On sitting out
It was hard watching the last few weeks, not being able to play, especially after coming off of a redshirt season. It was good just being back, and getting into the routine.

Freshman Tailback Jamari Smith

On the Clemson game
We take it one game at a time. We stay focused during our practice and everything. Next week is a big game and we know that.

On his first few carries of his career
During practices this week I got a lot of reps. When I got in, it was a shocker, but I followed my blockers and used techniques that I learned from Mike (Davis), Brandon (Wilds) and Coach Sands.

On first career touchdown
It felt really good. It was a good opportunity. It was a blessing. It was a great feeling.

Freshman Wide Receiver Pharoh Cooper

On the Clemson game
We plan to prepare for this game just like any of the other games this year. Even though it’s Coastal Carolina, we prepared for them just like anyone else. Like I said, treat it as any other normal game during the season. This week, we’re going to prepare like we do for any other game.

On first career touchdown
It was a great feeling. I haven’t scored since last year in high school, so just getting in the end zone again; I’m truly blessed to get the opportunity to play at this level and to get into the end zone. It really put a smile on my face.

On contributing as a freshman
Having the opportunity, being a true freshman, feels great. I give all the glory to God for allowing me to do this. I’m glad to make an impact at South Carolina


Head Coach Joe Moglia

Opening Statement
I want to congratulate Steve Spurrier and his staff and South Carolina for the season that they are having. They certainly played a great game today. I want to wish them luck next week against Clemson and then with what happens to them the rest of the season I wish them all the best. They beat us today and I think that we all understand what we needed to do to have a shot in the fourth quarter and we were not able to get that done and they played very well. I think once we realized that the game was out of hand we wanted our guys to continue to go after it, but it was important to give some other guys some work and I think that we were able to do that over the rest of the game. I haven’t heard any negative reports from our doctors so I am optimistic that we will be okay so we will know tomorrow but we lost and that’s it.

On knowing when it would be a long game
I probably knew about the third touchdown in the first quarter when it was 20-0 at the end of the first quarter we realized that these guys were better than Presbyterian (College).

On how the outcome of Charleston Southern v. Liberty and how it affected the team
What happened with Charleston Southern and Liberty was fortuitous for us because we now get the automatic bid from the league but we were going to the playoffs anyways. What happened over there had nothing to do with what happened over here. What happened today stings and I think that the only thing that could take the sting away would be if we are effective and successful next week.

On the team being mentally ready next week
It is my job to make sure that these guys are ready to play next week. We begin with a mission and the mission is to put a team on the field that will make our university proud and we know that means you have to win, but it also means that you never ever give anything but your best at any given time. I think that we have done that all season long and I think we did that today. We had some younger guys in at the end and I think that they were a little bit confused, but I don’t think that any of them quit. Our guys know and understand that today was a loss and we need to put it behind us. We should be able to learn some things from what took place today but for the most part I am putting this game behind us and I think our guys will do the same. We have to find out who we play next week and focus on that; I think that our guys have done that all season. That is what I expect from them, that is what our school should expect from them and if they are not ready to go that is my fault. They will be ready to go.

Running Back Lorenzo Taliaferro

On the match up front
It was pretty tough. They just outplayed us up front and I think that was the big difference in the game. We got beat pretty bad up there.

On matching up in the skill positions
I think we matched up pretty well in the skill positions, I just think that the big difference between FCS and FBS is the offensive and defensive lines.

On the turnovers
These last couple of games we have been sloppy in penalties and turnovers and I think that is a big reason that the score ran up today.

Quarterback Alex Ross

On what he takes away from playing South Carolina
It was a good environment to play in, and it was fun. It was a chance to play against an elite FBS program. We have to learn from it and do better on offense. Going into the playoffs starting next week, we’re going to be facing some good defenses. We’re going to have to execute better and just move on from this game.

On moving on from this game and getting ready for the playoffs
South Carolina is a good team, and we knew that in order for us to have a chance, we would have to execute 100 percent. We knew we would some how have to create some turnovers on defense, but that didn’t happen today. We’re going to take what we can from this game, watch film and move on to get ready for the playoffs.

Wide Receiver Matt Hazel

On Gamecock cornerback Victor Hampton
He’s one of the best corners that I’ve ever faced. He’s quick, strong, physical, and just a great player.

On South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier’s comments early in the week that he could play wide receiver in the SEC
It felt good, but I had to remain humble. I’m at Coastal though, and I’ve really enjoyed my experience here.

Defensive Back LaDarius Hawthorne

On what made South Carolina so tough
They we’re really good at what they did. They were big all around the board. They outsized us, but at the same time, we had some expectations to stop some of the things that they did, and we weren’t able to do that. They’re the No. 11 team in the country, so if we make mistakes, they’re going to take advantage of them. Early in the first half, we had some communication breakdowns and they took advantage of them.

On getting ready for the playoffs
We know that we’ve got more business to take care of, and that’s the most important business of our season. We have to move onto that and start handling it as soon as possible.