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VIDEOS: Georgia Week Football Media Availability
Football  . 

VIDEOS: Georgia Week Football Media Availability

Gamecocks Host Bulldogs on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on SEC Network

Interim head coach Mike Bobo spoke with reporters on a Zoom call Tuesday, as the Gamecocks prepare to host Georgia on Saturday. Players Luke Doty, Nick Muse, Jaylan Foster, Trey Adkins, Jabari Ellis and Deshaun Fenwick also took questions from the media.


– Thanks guys for coming, Georgia week, get to play an opponent, Georgia. That’s a very, very good football team, has very, very good players. I know they’re a little bit beat up on the defensive side of the ball, but I think they’ve been getting some guys back. You know, the thing about them when you turn on the tape is the size and the speed on both sides of the ball. You know, we’ll always say that they have good players, but they do an excellent job of coaching those players. They play great team defense. They do a great job matching coverage in defense, matching patterns defensively. They know how to fit runs all offensively. You know, they’ve been a little bit ball control until this last game when they inserted JT Daniels. I know they had a little bit of trouble running the ball past Gabe, but that defensive scheme will do it to you. I’ve gone against it when I was at Colorado State for five years, the Rocky Long defense from San Diego State. But, you know, JT showed the ability to put the ball in the air, throw the ball vertically. They got George Pickens back, who’s an outstanding receiver. As in home run threat every time he’s on the field. I’ve been really impressed with number seven, Burton. The true freshmen that plays in the slot ability to get open. And like always Georgia has a number of backs that you know, they all look very, very similar. Special teams, I think they’re sound in special teams. You know, I think they’ve got great returners. They’re one of the few teams that, you know, when you kick the ball off, they’re trying to bring it out every time. And they, I think they’ve played like three different guys on kickoff return and all of them are eager to carry it. And they’ve had a lot of positive plays, momentum plays in special teams, especially kickoff return. As long as punt return, Jackson is dangerous and punt returned too. So it’s a big challenge for us, you know, playing these guys. But like I said after the game, is the last game of the season at home for a lot of our, for our seniors, the ones that aren’t going to come back. I’m not sure on the number of that, but a lot of these seniors, this will be their last game Williams-Brice stadium. So we’re working extremely hard this week to get a good plan going the field and get ready to play a talented football team. So I’ll open it up for questions.

– [Reporter] How’s it going, Mike? Thanks for doing this today. Hope you’re well, do you know.

– Do you win the lottery every week? How come you get the first question, is that how that works? Okay.

– [Reporter] During players, a lot of guys got the first, you know, I was just wondering, do you know your starting quarterback is on Saturday and if not, when do you plan to make that decision?

– Yeah, we know who our starting quarterback’s got to be, but we’re not going to announce it to the public.

– [Reporter] Hey coach, I’m wondering, who does Luke Doty remind you of. Maybe, you know, professionally or guys that you’ve played with or coached in the past?

– It’s it’s, it’s a good question. You know, I the thing, I had a talk with Luke yesterday and I said, you know the thing I said, I want you to be Luke Doty. You know, I don’t want you to be, you know, anybody else other than Luke Doty. And, and sometimes when you know, comparisons are going to happen, but I I’ll just leave that up to you guys. My I’m stressing for him to be Luke Doty and be who he is be the best Luke Doty he can be, In his football skills in high, high, high runs, high throws and his leadership skills too. Don’t try to be me. Don’t try to be Connor Sean. You got to be Luke Doty because that’s, who’s genuine when you’re genuine that’s when that’s, when people will follow you.

– [Reporter] My two questions one, there no, no new guys in terms of opting out this week. We’re rebooted.

– No, sir.

– [Reporter] Thank you. In a second question, I want to ask you is obviously players made their own decisions up last week for themselves and their family, but for a guy like Hutchinson, to say those comments, I don’t know if you had a chance to listen to him after the game last week, but just speaking in terms of just the leadership and just wanting to be there for those younger guys, you know, what does that mean for you right now, especially in the role that you’re currently in.

– It, it means a lot, you know, when you’re, when you’re trying to get a team ready to play and we’re going through what we’re going through, not just losing their coach, but you know, the ability to opt out at any time for guys and really no penalty of losing a year or, or losing, you know, your scholarship or losing your course attendance. I mean, you don’t lose anything. And it’s trying to teach these, you know, these kids that are, that are here, that, you know, you’re playing for more than yourself. And that was a great example of him standing up and saying, it’s not just about me. It’s about this team. It’s about showing these guys how to show up and go to work every day. And I’ve loved coaching this kid or being a part of in the room, coaching him. He, you know, when we’ve struggled at times, he’s walked up, came up to my office and we’ve talked and it hadn’t been about, you know, what we’re doing schematically or who’s playing or it’s, what can I do to help us, you know, look to be better coach. And that’s been his attitude since day one. And I think his flipped, his play has reflected that. I think he’s having an outstanding year this year and enjoy playing football.

– [Reporter] Mike is Georgia week. You are an outstanding quarterback at Georgia, great offensive coordinator there. I know when I was in coaching, playing against my Alma mater used to get my juices flowing a little bit. I wouldn’t admit it, but there’s this game a little bit special to you or get your juices going in a different way.

– You, you know, it’s, you know, it’s, I could sit here and say, Hey, it’s another opponent. It’s, you know, we got to get ready to play and that’s all true, you know, but there is, you know, there’s excitement in the air because it’s, you know, there’s a lot of, a lot of history there. There’s a lot of people I know on the other side of the ball, not just the red Georgia, but in coach, you know, known since we were child childhood friends. And then I know when I played there and when I coached there, it was always tough to come over here and play. Now, we’re not going to have not 85,000 people in the stands, but it was a tough place to come play at Williams Brice stadium. So, you know, we’re just, we’re, we’re going to, we’re going to be ready. We’re going to be ready to compete. I’ll say that I, you know, that head coach, we know each other well and not just football. We’ve always competed in everything we’ve, we’ve always done and has been very, very spirited competitions outside of that.

– [Reporter] First of all, just do you have a favorite story of when you competed with Kirby Smart? Is there a good story that you have?

– Yeah, that’s fine. We’ll, we’ll keep there’s, there’s a lot. There’s, there’s a lot of stories, right. You know, the main thing is, you know, we’ve, I haven’t played as much golf as, as I used to play before I got sick and then five kids and then has kind of changed with recruiting year round. But early in our coaching days, it was in play and playing days, there was a lot of golf and he was a class below me. So him and Dax Langley were always partners because they were the class of 94 then ourself and Travis Johnson, who was a sinner from North Carolina, we’re always, so we’re always competing there. We had the upper hand for a while, but we haven’t won one in a while, but some spare I’m not going to get into the details of the competition, but a lot, a lot, a lot of competition between nine, three and nine, four back in the days.

– [Reporter] And I guess with JT Daniel’s just how hard is it the game plan for a guy like that when you don’t have much film on him in that system at Georgia?

– Yeah. I mean, I think we got to get ready to, to obviously play some things or play against some of the things they did last week. Offensively because he’s a different guy. He’s a thrower. And, and, you know, instead said it was a throw too, but he wasn’t, you know, he ran around a little bit, but I think they’re always going to have an element too. Don’t want to run the ball and be physical because of who they are, the size that they have, the backs that they have. I think they’re probably, you know, they’re going to search to have a little bit more balance, you know, I think what, what I want to say Washington state, but what Mississippi state did against them last week, I think forced them, you know, to have to throw the ball a little bit more. I think you’ll see a more balanced team. You know, this is not going to be afraid to, you know, to put it in the air, spreads you out, but also get in tidy and sets 12 personnel and run the ball. You know so I think that’s what we all strive. I don’t think they want to be totally spread and throw it every day on. I think you’re going to see balance and you’ve got to prepare for, for JTS, probably more of a pocket guy. He does have good movement in the pocket to, to find a throwing lane, but I don’t think he’s going to pull it down and run, like maybe Stetson or Mathis did.

– [Reporter] Mike, just, if you have a guy like Luke in there, what, what does he kind of allow the offense to do differently kind of scheme wise?

– If, if Luke shirt Luke’s your quarterback. I think, you know, one, we have to work a lot on moral little scramble rules, you know, because the quarterback, you know, if something’s covered, he’s going to, he’s going to break out of the pocket and either look to run or look to throw. So sometimes, you know, you don’t work those as maybe as much as you would, if you didn’t have a mobile quarterback, but that’s where a lot of big plays are generated. Sometimes when guys protection breaks down or things are covered is when you know you’re scrambling and then you actually throw the ball, not scrambling to run but scrambling to throw. You see a lot of explosive plays happen that way. So I think, you know, the broken play, you know, explosives off the broken play would be, would be the main thing. Obviously quarterback run game is the other one.

– [Reporter] Hey Mike, a couple of questions. Some of the players have talked about the energy that Luke brought to practice. I was just wondering your reaction the first time you saw him make some of those plays in practice, especially as a former quarterback.

– I would say this, and I’ve said this about Luke Doty. You know, the times I’ve talked to the media, he’s everybody loves Luke Doty because of he is the ultimate team guy. He’s gone out there and played receiver. He’s played on special teams. Luke’s having fun. Luke’s excited about being Carolina. It’s not about Luke, it’s about the team. And I think guys respect that and you know, I know, or two and six and we’re going through a pandemic and we’ve lost a coach to taste, but this guy is out there having fun, playing football. And I think that resonates with the guys.

– [Reporter] My next question, it’s been a tough year for all of us, with the pandemic and some of us have also faced personal challenges. I’m just wondering as we approach Thanksgiving, what are you most thankful for this year?

– I’m thankful for, you know, to live in a country, you know, where, where we’re free and able to make choices. You know, I think that’s, that’s a blessing. Sometimes we overlook, you know, I’m thankful that, you know, the people that fought for this country that we’re able to do that. And I’m thankful for, for family. And that’s, that’s, you know, my family at home, my wife and kids that support me. They love dad no matter what. You know, that I’m the best coach in the world, even though I know I wasn’t on some Saturdays and they’re going to hug you and tell you that, and I’m thankful for the football family here at South Carolina. You know, I’m only been here, you know, going on almost a year, but welcomed, you know, welcomed me and my family. And I’m appreciative of that, you know, is something my wife and I talked about last night this morning. And you said it, you know, it’s easy to look at, you know, things aren’t going great. You’re, you’re losing you are struggling. And they become a, become a challenge for you as a, as a coach and a player. But we have a lot to be thankful for what we get to do and, and go and who we get to do it with. And, and the country we live in as a lot of stuff that we could say, this, this, this, this negative, it’s not going great, but there’s a lot of positives too. And that was kind of my message to the team today. I didn’t get into the Thanksgiving, but, but I should have since it was Thanksgiving week, but they were getting to play football, you know, and that’s not your cup of tea right now, then, you know, that’s okay. You have an option to do, but we want to go battle with guys that enjoy it, go compete and let’s have fun. And let’s enjoy these last two weeks.

– [Reporter] So you’re saying Thanksgiving is more than just a meal to you. That’s not a question. That’s just kind of a statement. Have you and coach Tanner had a chance to talk about the head coaching job, if not, do you expect to interview with him this week or next week you consider yourself a candidate at this point.

– I have not talked to coach Tanner in about any of that. I’ve been focused on my he’s he’s he’s asked me to lead his football team and get them ready to play and put their best foot forward, you know, weekend and week out. And I’m saying this as honest as I can feel, that’s all I’m focused on.

– [Reporter] Mike, obviously there are a lot of things still being decided. But if any of those seniors expressed to you that, that they definitely want to come back next week, or what are those conversations been like with you guys.

– That was coach Muschamp some conversations with some guys, you know, as the year, beginning of the year. And when they came out with a rule that that guys could come back. So we’ve got a list of guys that have said, you know, they’re going to come back. I think that’ll be, you know, a conversation for the new, for the new head coach to have with those guys.

– [Reporter] Tell me about some of the conversations that you’re having with your quarterbacks going into this week.

– You know, we got it, we got a job to, we got to, we got to get ready. We got to prepare. You know, today was day one of day, one installation, basically normal downs. When I say that, I mean, first or second downs and learning the plan and you know, everybody being ready to play. You know, you’ve got a job to do. Your job of a quarterback is to learn what we’re doing. So you can go out and execute it. But it’s also to, to be a leader of the football team. And, you know, you get in being a leader of a football team is showing up doing your work, you know, being a team guy. That’s what, that’s what that’s, and, and it’s not you, that’s what being a leader is. And that’s been my, my message to those guys.

– [Reporter] Yeah. Like, I guess if Luke is the starting quarterback, how comfortable do you feel with his ability to know the entire playbook and will there be any limits to kind of what he can do on the field am not asking you to give it upstate secrets, but just, do you feel comfortable with his knowledge.

– You know, whichever quarterbacks in there we’re going to do things that fit, that fit their skillset.

– [Reporter] Hey Mike, is there an update on Shi and ZaQuandre? Could they potentially play?

– Yeah Shi Smith is, I would say doubtful for this game to carry out in practice as a, he had limited practice with the amount of periods that our training staff let him go, but I thought he looked good. So I’m expecting, I would say he’s, I didn’t get to update today, but I don’t want to upgrade him to probable, but I’d say he’s probably questionable to probable. Other all offensively I think, you know, we’re, ex-navy legged still, still out offensively defensively. You know, Katy is, is questionable, Tonka Hemingway is questionable, Jordan Burch is questionable. 27 Jaylan Foster’s questionable. We got a lot of, we got a lot. We got a lot of issues. I think we’re down 16, 16 scholarship players defensively right now from practice, but it is what it is. And you know, we’re going to cheer. Whoever’s here willing to play. We’ll coach them up. And whoever the training staff says can play, we’re going coach them up and we’re going to go out there and battle our ase off.

– [Reporter] I know it’s Georgia week, but the big question for me this week is are you a white meat turkey guy or dark meat turkey guy. And what’s your favorite thing to eat on Thanksgiving?

– That’s something that waste that we, We would always, now she mentioned that as a quarterback coach and at Georgia at first, when I first started Martin Rick was in the room and then he gradually gave it to me. But every Thanksgiving we’d always talk about, you know, obviously what you’re thankful for, then what’s your, what’s your meal? So I’ve done this, you know, I’ve that tradition for 20 something years that I’ve been coaching. I am a, I never was a turkey guy. I was a, I’m a white meat turkey guy, but I never was a turkey guy really, because I thought it was too dry until they started frying turkeys. Now they fry turkeys. I love, I love turkey. And then my favorite, my mom’s squash casserole I would go with, I would go with that. So basically what I do is I I’ll, I’ll sit there and pick it the turkey off the tray, which you’re not supposed to. And I’ll eat that all throughout the day. And then when it’s time for, to actually sit down and eat, I fill my plate with vegetables. So, and then I’m will have some sweet tea. I hadn’t had sweet tea in five years for Thanksgiving. Now I’m in the South, I’ll have some sweet tea.

– [Reporter] Hey Mike, kind of two questions. The first one is, you said you haven’t really had many of the senior day conversations with the guys, just cause Mike had just cause we’ll have them beforehand. Correct?

– I’m talking about who’s coming back as a senior. That’s the, yeah, the seniors, all the seniors are going to be involved in the senior day, but as far as who’s coming back and not deciding to come back an extra year, because the NCAA, I haven’t had those conversations with them cause they’re all playing. That would be for the next head coach to have that conversation, our conversation with him after the season.

– [Reporter] Okay. And I wanted to ask you just how sort of, what has it been like doing the pre senior day conversations with guys who could all potentially come back? Cause usually it’s, you know, juniors who say they want to walk, cause they might go to the NFL or Richard juniors who might leave the program. And now you’ve got that conversation with guys who could potentially come back and, and also one foot.

– Go ahead, finish your question.

– [Reporter] Also one football question, which is, you mentioned Missouri because of their, their coverages kind of left scrambling lanes. Does Georgia do similar stuff to that? Or are they a little bit less on that, on that side of things?

– I, as far as your senior day question, you know, we had, you know, that’s something, our operations guy, coach George Wynn handles conversation with all those guys. And the bad thing about this year, senior days is special day for all seniors. You know, because they get recognized in front of, you know, the fan base. And obviously we don’t have a full fan and their parents get to come on the field, but the pandemic we’re in, you know, the parents aren’t going to be allowed on the field. So it’s, it’s a, you know, it’s, we, we address that with them, coach George Wynn addressed it with them. And it’s not something, you know, they wanted to hear because their families are a big part of their lives, but it’s what we’re going through. Those are the rules. So there’ll be honored. We’ll take a group photo with all the seniors. They’ll take a photo together and they will show their family on the on the big screen. You know, I know it was special, you know, for me when I was a senior, it was special for me when I was a head coach at Colorado state to not only tell you to say thank you to those seniors, but also tell their parents and loved ones thank you. And that’s an opportunity, you know, they will have, so maybe that’ll encourage some of them, you know, to come back and, you know, have a true senior, you know, season. It’s been a difficult and I know some of them will and some of them won’t, but we’re not, you know. My message to them and everybody on the team is you’re time is right now. Okay. It’s it wasn’t last week. It’s not in the future after the season or when a new co I said, it’s right now, enjoy right now. Okay. Don’t, don’t, don’t get focused on, you know, what’s going to happen in two weeks or who, who Ray Tanner is going to hire or where are you going to just focus, enjoy being here and being of this family and playing with these guys right now. That’s my, that’s my message. Okay. I’m not getting into, are you coming back? Are you staying? You know, my focus is on right now, getting ready to play Georgia today in our practice and then coming out and having a great practice tomorrow and learning the plan. I don’t, I don’t get into all that because they’re playing for South Carolina, you know, and I’m playing for the NFL right now. They’re playing for, there are playing for South Carolina. The other thing is coverages. I expect, you know, if, if Luke Doty is in the game, that we would see some coverages where he would be accounted for, you know, whether it’s a low hope, what you call a robber, you know, have some positive spike or drop a safety down. The thing about Georgia, they play a lot of split safety coverage because they’re so good upfront, whether they’re in there three down or four down, you know, they’re able to play a lot of splits safety and really smother you in the passing game because they can hit and they can stop the run in their base defense, you know, third down is where they get really, really exotic, you know, and you, if you’ve seen Georgia play or, you know, maybe when third down happens, I mean, it’s a boatload of substitutions. They got packages for all kinds of guys. They got blitzes coming from everywhere. So, you know, that’s, that’s where you might see something different if you know, Luke Doty was a quarterback in a third down situation, because now you got to account for different plays other than drop back pass.

– [Reporter] Hi Mike, what is a Thursday? How will that look for you guys in terms of practice? I know Nick Moose mentioned that some of the local guys might have a chance to go back to see their families.

– Yeah, that’s what we’re going to do, Mike. The good thing is we practice in the morning, but I’ve always, and I think coach did it before even we would be off we’d practice in the morning and give local guys an opportunity to go home. You know, we won’t, we won’t have our practice, our meetings until Friday until one o’clock because it is a night game on Saturday, you know, so they’ll have a good 24 hours to go home. And then we’ll stress what we have, you know, every time they’ve had any on or off time is remember social distance, remember to wear your mask. You know, you could come back and, you know, potentially, you know, affect, you know, not only yourself, but somebody on this football team. And the kids have done a great job with that. When coach gave him time off in the open week, they were coming back and knock on wood. Nobody, you know, nobody tested positive. So, you know, we’ll continue to educate and give them their pointers. Our training staff and operation has done a great job of that, but I’m, I’m, we’re going to allow them to go home. And hopefully, you know, some of our players that, that aren’t from close by, you know, will have an opportunity to go, go, go to our other players families houses. That’s what, I’ve, what we’ve always done is, you know, open it up and try to get everybody a place to go for Thanksgiving. We’ll have our meal Wednesday night as a team, but Thursday will be about their families.

– [Reporter] I know Phil mentioned it a little bit earlier, the whole, you know, do you view Thanksgiving as a meal or a holiday, the reason why that was mentioned is because a couple of years ago, coach Must Champion actually said he just views it as a meal. So we have to ask you now, you know, is, is Thanksgiving a male or a holiday?

– It’s a holiday. I mean, I think it’s a really, you know, I try to, you know, live your life where you thank for every day, you know, you know, when you wake up, you ought to be thankful, you know, that we live in a country and get to do what we get to do. But I think when it’s Thanksgiving, it brings more attention to, to make yourself sit down and be grateful. And that’s, you know, something I’ve always tried to stress to my kids and kids that I’ve coached. You know, we’ve got a lot to be grateful for. There’s gratitude, you know and so we’ll continue to stress that, but it is. I mean I basically Thanksgiving every day, that much weight as I’ve put on since I’ve been here. So I might skip the meal and just be thankful to be able to be at home with my family Thursday afternoon.

– [Reporter] Cause it was going off of what you just said about players opening up their homes to the players who aren’t from around this area earlier in the press conference. Nick muse actually said that any player who is not from here is welcome to come to his house and enjoy a meal. What does that just say about the culture and mentality of the program and the brotherhood that players have created so far?

– It’s, it’s, it’s your, it’s your family away from, from your family? And these guys spend a lot of time together. I mean, you got, you got kids from all walks of life, different races, different religions, but you know, we’re one, one family, one team here and guys will guys take care of each other. And you know, I think this is a great week. You know, it’s really been a great year to, to even focus more on that. And then the last, last week and a half, you know, I think we’ve grown us even closer. These players even closer, you know, because sometimes they realize it is, you know, this is all we got is us, you know, sometimes things happen beyond our control, but you know, your loved ones, you know, sometimes we take those for granted your loved ones. And I think of these teammates are they love each other.

– [Reporter] Regardless of the records and even back when you were playing and coaching there, though, it seems like the South Carolina, Georgia game is always is a close game. Why do you think that that’s that happens?

– Well, I think you got a lot of players of, you know, South Carolina’s always recruited as a state of Georgia heavily. And they’ve always had back, you know, from when I was playing, you know, guys on the team from Georgia when I was coaching, a lot of these kids, they know each other. And so it’s very, very competitive. So I, you know, when you’re competing against your, you know, your guys you’ve competed against your whole life and you know him, you want to, you want to succeed even more. So I think that’s one of the reasons.