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Nov. 24, 2015

Interim Head Coach Shawn Elliott

Opening Statement
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. I hope everyone has a good week planned. We are trying to do the best we can with it. It’s our rivalry week. Clemson Tigers, number one team in the country. I think we are thrilled about that; having the best team in the country coming into Williams-Brice Stadium. I know when I look back and reflect on the number one teams I have faced in my career, I’ve had a pretty good track record. It always gives you a little more incentive as a football team to prepare because you are going up against the very best. We are excited about a great week. We have a lot to be thankful for. Our players certainly understand that, our coaches certainly understand that, we have a good attitude and really can’t wait until Saturday.

On mood of the team after last Saturday’s loss
We’ve talked about it. We’ve faced the facts, exactly what’s happened and what is going on and what we have to do moving forward. The mood of our football team is very good, if you can imagine that. We had a spirited practice last night. We took the team to the Tiger Burn. We told them we are going to enjoy this week. Our team responded. They actually wanted to talk themselves and get a few things off their chest to each other. We allowed them to do that. It wasn’t a private players meeting or anything like that, but they just wanted to say some things. When they came out of that meeting you can kind of look at an individual and tell if they got it or not and I think everyone got it.

On the team
They understand what’s at stake. They really do. Coming into yesterday’s team meeting you saw a little different look. That doesn’t always result in positive play, missed assignments or playing hard. There was more of a focused look and energy in what we have to do to prepare this week for the number one team in the nation, Clemson. The mentality seemed to be right on point yesterday.

On Dabo Swinney and Clemson
Coach Swinney has done an outstanding job. To go from where they were when he was named interim, he was blessed with some pretty fine football players at that time. That propelled him into that job and then he made the right moves. He hired a good staff, great quality coaches, great coordinators, the recruiting of course. You have to admire what he has done. He exudes confidence and he sells the Clemson spirit. That is something as another coach you have to appreciate and respect.

On being the interim coach at South Carolina
What you have to do is you have to go do what you think is best for the football team. You are dealt a hand that you are unexpected to get. You can’t stress over it. So many people ask me `Oh this has to be a difficult situation for you.’ Each and every move I’ve made personally and tried to propel our football team to the very best I can, I think I’ve done it. The wins certainly haven’t come but I’ve done each and every thing that’s best. I think our players have respected what I’ve done and what I’ve tried to do. It’s the only way I was taught.