Oct. 27, 2012
Tennessee Head Coach Derek Dooley(Opening Statement)
"Well that was another tough finish. It was a great football game and I am proud of my team for the resiliency that they showed. We gave up a lot of big points. It's the same old song and dance in the SEC games, but we had a chance to win. They made a great play, got the ball out and turned it over. So all you can do is move on. We didn't really accomplish what we wanted to against these SEC top teams but we have to turn the page. There is a lot at stake down the stretch and we could still have a really good season."
(On the offensive line's performance against the SC defense)
"They did a great job. That's one of the top defenses in college football. We put 472 yards on them and 35 points, but it wasn't enough to win the game."
(On SEC play)
"The one thing we did accomplish, other than Alabama, is that we have felt like we have gone toe-to-toe with all of them and that is something that we have never done in two years but that is not good enough in the win-loss column. You don't get a half win for going toe-to-toe. I thought we were going to win it here, but we didn't get it done."
(On what he said to the team post game)
"I told them I was proud of them and as long as they keep fighting, good things will eventually happen and I believe that. I still believe in the team. It was a similar game as Georgia. No one was really stopping anyone, and we had a chance to win and we didn't get it done."
(On the team falling behind early)
"We dig ourselves into a hole that is part of the problem. We settled in and then held them to 10 points. When you dig yourself into holes and make mistakes it is hard to overcome."
(On the final five games)
"We have to view this as a second season. That is all you have to do. There is a lot at stake, there is a bowl at stake. The only way to claw our way out of hurting is to win the next one and that is what I am worried about."
(On Zach Rogers)
"The way they play on defense makes it easy, one-on-one, and Zach had a great game."
(On the final plays of the game)
I thought he was out of bounds, but I didn't have time to argue. We had an opportunity ball there on the last play. Opportunity ball there.
(On Marcus Lattimore's Injury)
"Everybody has a lot of respect for Marcus and what he has done. Nobody likes to see a player get hurt. So I think when [my players] saw the severity of it and went out there, it just shows the respect that everybody has for each other as athletes. Nobody wants to see that happen."
JUNIOR QB Tyler Bray(On the fumble)
"I just wanted to throw the ball away, he is one of the best defensive ends in the country and he makes plays. He didn't do anything really in the game until that play, Tiny did a great job. I went to throw it out of bounds and he just caught my arm."
(On the team's play today)
"Like coach said we got our swag back. We were having fun today and throwing the ball and running the ball."
(On Zach Rogers)
"Zach shows up every week. The media doesn't see it because he doesn't have the stats like CP and Justin do but he comes in and blocks on running plays and just does his job."
(On losing so many tough games)
"We have had so many games like this that it is hard. But we are going to bounce back next week."
(On Jadeveon Clowney)
"I think any quarterback feels him. He isn't scary, but he is a big dude. You are always going to know that he is behind you and coming. You don't always see him. You can't forget about a guy like that, he is an NFL caliber guy. Any time he is rushing you, you know he is there."
(On the final drive of the game)
"I thought for sure that we were going to score. We had enough plays down there that we could score. They covered the first one, we had to throw it away, and Clowney makes a great play."
RS> SENIOR LB Herman Lathers(On South Carolina's offense)
"It was a good offense, but a simple offense. Their bread and butter is a zone-read. Connor Shaw is the guy that can hurt you with his feet. I think we did a good job of containing him all day. With the busts that we give up it is mental errors when guys get tired. Sometimes they forget what they have to do. That is what is killing us right now and we have to work on that in practice."
(On starting off in the wrong direction on the big plays given up)
"That is what it is. Guys are putting themselves out of position to make plays and it hurts us."
(On the margin of error)
"It is very small. Guys are not lined up in the right gap. They are not lined up inside to outside on man-to-man technique. It hurts you a lot and puts a lot of stress on the safeties and they take a lot of heat for it, but it is all on us."
(On the sideline energy)
"It felt great. I thought our sideline energy was great, it kept the team motivated. We did great playing through adversity and I thought we battled the whole game."
(On the loss)
"It is the same old story line. We didn't get the win but I thought we played and battled well enough to get the win. We just didn't pull it out at the end when you have to execute, and we didn't execute so we didn't get the result that we wanted."
SOPHOMORE WR Vincent Dallas(On the defense at the end of the game)
"[Jadeveon] Clowney is a good player, and he was coming off the edge really strong. They were just making plays when it counted."
(On being so close to winning again)
"We've been in a lot of situations like that all year. We just haven't been able to capitalize on the field."
SENIOR WR Zach Rogers(On whether the mistake at the end of the game was crippling)
"Yeah one mistake when you're behind in a ball game in the SEC can really hurt you. We have learned week in and week out that you can't make those kinds of mistakes. At the same time, we've learned we can't dwell on the mistakes and the end result too much."
(On the last drive)
"We had a lot of momentum going into that last one and I thought we were going to score no doubt. I felt like we were going to go up and win this ball game, and break the streak. But unfortunate things happened and it just didn't go our way."
(On not being able to `celebrate' his three touchdowns because of the loss)
"Absolutely. This one hurts; we hurt as a team right now. We fought our way back, but we dug ourselves into a hole early and that is what got us today. We have to keep fighting; we can't let this one get us today. I know we say that week-in and week-out but we have to keep looking ahead."
(On the one-on-one matchups)
"They played a lot of cover one and man free. We knew we had some singled up matchups outside. We wanted to take advantage of that heading into this one and that is what we were able to do and it paid off for us."
RS SENIOR TE Mychal Rivera(On the fumble)
"Yeah I saw the ball come out as I was finishing my route and just wasn't close enough to make a play on it and try to recover. I saw them get it and I knew it was all bad from there."
On if this loss was similar to the other losses)
"We're fighting, and if you look at last year we weren't fighting like we should have. Down by three going into the endzone you really can't ask for a better situation."
South Carolina Head Coach Steve Spurrier
"I think it was good to win one like that. We figured they would come back. They're a very good passing team. They must have thrown for about 400 and something yards. It was good to hang in there. Tyler Hull hit a big punt and we covered it. Then we got a long ball picked to put it away. The guys played pretty well over all. We ran the ball decently. We had 500 yards. That's a lot for us, after not having many the last couple games. It was a game we had to throw the ball, and Connor (Shaw) threw the ball beautifully. We just barely missed about three long ones, two to Ace (Sanders), and Damiere (Byrd) had it in his hands and couldn't hold on or we would have had well over 500 yards passing. It was good to see Connor step in there and make the throws and not run all the time. He had to run a little bit. Good for him."
"Jadeveon Clowney wins the game for us. Coach (Lorenzo) Ward and I had the same idea about the middle of the fourth quarter, let him rush from the inside. Sure enough, we put him on the inside, where that back did not double on him. I thought Tennessee would tell that back to wait on him inside, but he stayed on the outside. [Jadeveon] got two good pressures there at the end. I don't think we could have slowed them down much. That was the key to the ball game. He knocked it loose, and our guys fell on the fumble. It worked out, and we're a happy bunch of Gamecocks going into open date. Always more fun to win one when you've got a week you don't play. Plus, we haven't won one in a long time. It's good to get a victory. We look forward to taking this week off and recharging our batteries to get ready for Arkansas in two weeks."
(On Marcus Lattimore's injury)
Obviously Marcus has a severe knee injury. We'll let the doctors tell you exactly what all it is later on. He's such a good young man. Good things are going to happen for Marcus. I don't know exactly where or how, but good things are going to happen for Marcus Lattimore. He had a heck of a game going, too. A guy came knifing in there. The other guy hit him low. It is a very, very unfortunate thing that happened to Marcus. We'll all pray for him. Hopefully he'll be back. Maybe he'll be back next year. Maybe it won't be quite as severe as it appeared on the field out there.
(On the running back situation)
We've got two guys ready to go - Kenny (Miles) and Mike Davis. Mike is running pretty well. We'll look to see if Brandon (Wilds) can go play and help us out. Kenny had some nice runs. A guy just barely tripped him up there at the end. He almost broke that one. It was a day we could have done a little bit better. But I guess for us to score 38 is pretty good.
(On both teams rallying around Lattimore on the field after his injury)
I'm not sure if I've quite seen one like that. Everybody in the SEC and around the country has the utmost respect for Marcus Lattimore, mainly, as a person. We all know he's a great guy. As a person, there's no greater than him that I've ever met. It was touching. The Tennessee guys felt bad about it too. Us coaches all say let's hope nobody gets hurt today before the game. That's what I say before every game. We're all on the same page. It's a terrible part of the game that sometimes injuries occur, but players don't try to hurt other players in our league.
(On keeping the team focused after the injury)
I think all of our players understand that no matter what happens you have to move on. You can't sit around and mope. At halftime, I said the best thing we can do is win this ball game and give the game ball to Marcus, which we did.
(On the passing game)
I think (it was good) because the ball got in the air today. (Rory Anderson) and Justice (Cunningham) had big games with nine catches. Justice got the ball down to the one-yard line. Bruce (Ellington) and Ace (Sanders) got six and five. We finally got the ball up. We dropped a few deep ones. Shaq Roland had his hands on one. Damiere Byrd had his hands on one. We're very fortunate to hang in there. Our defense finally made a play, (Jadeveon) Clowney made a play.