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Sept. 2, 2014

Coach Spurrier
Brandon Wilds
J.T. Surratt
Nick Jones

Opening statement
“We’re still and always will be embarrassed by our performance the last game. (We) realize it’s history and just try to learn from it and try to play a whole bunch better and coach a whole bunch better the next time out, so that’s where we are right now. We changed a few things, practice routine is a little different, a few changes; offense, defense; special teams didn’t get involved much in the last game, but we’ll have a few changes. We’ll announce those later in the week. Obviously we have to do things a little differently or we’re in for a long season, so we’ll try and do that and try to put a team on the field that that our Gamecock fans will be proud of Saturday night.
“East Carolina is a good team, 10-3 last year. Ruffin McNeil has done a super job. They play with confidence and they have a schedule this year that they’re sort of dreaming about beating everybody. I think they got us, Virginia Tech and North Carolina, three in a row, and then after that they feel pretty comfortable with all of their other games, and might be favored in some of these games. They’re a solid team, play a little like Texas A&M on offense, quarterback gets the ball out of his hand quick, excellent receivers, pretty good running game and so forth, and their defense has been very good. That’s how you win 10 games. So we’re hoping and believing that we can perform a lot better than the last game and again give our fans a team that they’ve been watching the last several years.”

On changing practice habits
“Not going into details, just going to be a little more competitive, first on first in some things, not tackling to the ground and getting people hurt. We just try to keep our guys moving, sense of urgency, seems like we’ve been a little lackadaisical. Obviously we didn’t play fast. The team was a lot faster than us the last game. We’re just trying to get our guys moving at a faster pace all the time and very little standing around watching each other. For an example, I will tell you this, when we do pass protection we have all (five) blocking instead of one at time and we’ve got all four defensive guys rushing. We’ll do that all week because we’re not real good on pass protection and we’re not very good on pass rush. We’re going to practice the heck out of it and see if we can get better.”

On expectations
“You go one game at a time. Obviously, preseason talk, is all it is. No one knows how a team really comes around to be. Obviously, expectations are there every year. Some teams are maybe not as good as advertised and some are better than advertised. It’s a wait and see for us.”

On the run game
“Yeah there were some blocking errors in there. Mike Davis ran six for 15 yards, so he didn’t have much going. Brandon [Wilds] actually averaged about five yards a carry and of course the other team was scoring about every time down the field, so that sort of led us to have to score quickly and we didn’t do very well. We were hoping to get some of the backup players in when it was out of reach, but they held the ball the last 10 minutes of the game and we didn’t get those guys in there to play a little bit.”

“All we can do is try to learn from it. We actually had some good plays on defense in the game, but when the other team converts 12 third downs conversions and two on fourth, you’re out there a long time so obviously third downs are extremely important and that was a huge problem. Again, we think we have the players to fix it, so we’re going to find out here Saturday night.”

On Mike Davis’ status for Saturday
“I think he’s going to be available now. He’s got some treatment on his bruised ribs and there’s a good chance he’ll be available.”

On trying to get the run game effective early
“Obviously, running the ball, sometimes you don’t make much and sometimes you do. Obviously we’ve won a bunch of games with the quarterback running the ball, if you were here last year and the year before. Right now we’re not a quarterback running team as much as before so we need to block. We need to get some holes in there and the backs need to run well. And we’ve got to get the other team off the field so it all goes together.”

On David Williams seeing playing time against East Carolina
“We have to get David out there. We told him he’s going to get the ball some. He’ll be out there. He’s not really had a chance to play here. It’s hard to rotate four running backs. Sometimes it’s easier if one or two get nicked up a little bit cause you can’t play all four of them, but David’s been here a good solid year now and I think he deserves a chance to carry a few, and hopefully we can get some decent blocking for him.”

On Dylan Thompson’s play against Texas A&M
“Dylan had a lot of good plays the other night, but he had some plays he could have performed better. Playing quarterback is decision making, especially if you’re a drop back quarterback and have four receivers going out. (You have to) choose which side to choose to throw here or there and a few times he got hung up on the wrong side and should have come to the other side, little things like that, but he hadn’t played all that much. He had some beautiful passes, the balls to Nick [Jones] and Damiere [Byrd]. The ball to Nick he got hit right after he threw it. Our protection was not good the other night and that contributed to some errors.”