Oct. 31, 2009
Tennessee Locker Room
Head Coach Lane Kiffin
"This was a very good win for our program to beat a top 25 team in front of a national TV audience. We're really excited about that. Obviously, it was kind of sloppy at times because of the weather and both teams completed 50 percent of the balls. The whole game was going to be about turnovers, and we talked about that at the start of the game when it started to rain. So it was going to be about protecting the ball, and we pride ourselves on that. We have done a very good job on that of late. Last week we had 74 plays and didn't put the ball on the ground, and then to pitch a shutout (on turnovers) today was great. I think that's the story of the game. You get four turnovers on defense and give up none on offense, you're going to win a lot of games. It was good to have a game like that for our players to see because we talk about it all the time. We give them percentages on when you win the turnover margin. At plus-four, you always win. It's a great lesson for our guys to see that when you do that the other stuff doesn't really matter. You can play sloppy, complete 50 percent of balls and get a few penalties and still win.
"I thought our special teams did well for us today. We're improving, which is good to see. We ran for 200 yards today against a very good defense. They had one sack today. That's a great pass rush defense that causes a bunch of problems - it caused a bunch today, moving all around and shifting.
"I thought Jonathan played great today. I didn't think we played great around him. But, if you throw two touchdowns, don't turn the ball over and manage the game well, you put yourself in position to win. We finally gave up a touchdown on defense for the first time in three games. I thought third downs is where we really screwed up on offense, but our defense played really well."
On the quick start: "It was really good for us to get some excitement right away in the game and to capitalize on a turnover. It gives our players a lot of momentum, and we did it again today. I think we capitalized on it every time on the four turnovers. It was huge. We've played great defense lately, but we have not been an explosive defense. To come out and get four turnovers today was a credit to the players."
On defense: "I thought we had to get them out of rhythm. We talked about that all week with our guys. We brought a bunch of different blitzes. We need to communicate well. There were a number of times we had to check out of blitzes or back into blitzes based on their formations and what they were doing. We gave up too many yards today, but we continue to play great in red zone defense."
On the black jerseys: "It's a players game, and our players had been begging for them for a while. It was a night game and it was Halloween night. A couple of our players went over to Mike Hamilton and asked him about it. It was unbelievable to get them done that fast. I think it gave us some energy. I think you saw that in the way they came out and played early."
On the win: "It was a good win. We needed that right now to kind of start our streak of what we want to do: to finish out the season undefeated."
On early turnovers: "Coach really preaches that it's all about the ball. Defense get it back. Offense take care of it. I think tonight we were plus-four in the turnover margin, and whenever that happens, we've got a good shot of winning the game. Our defense did a tremendous job, fighting for the ball and getting it out early and giving us great field position."
On the black jerseys: "It was good. It was a change up. We did it for the fans for Halloween night. We knew last night we were going to do it, so it was pretty exciting."
On the offensive line: "Our offensive line has filled up our blocking scheme really good this season. We thought that coming into the game that the outside was going to be a big play for us. The guys up front got moving on the ball and opening up seams. It was a rainy day, so all my coach was preaching was to take one cut and go."
On his forced fumble in the first quarter: "I wanted to set the tone in the game. We came out with the black jerseys and we really had to get a win tonight, or we wouldn't be able to wear them again. But I think it really changed the momentum of the game, and we got the ball into the red zone."
DT Dan Williams
On improved play in recent weeks: "I've done a whole bunch of film study. It's just like doing homework for football. I have two of the greatest coaches helping me out and making me a better player."
South Carolina Locker Room
Head Coach Steve Spurrier
Opening Comments: "Like I just told the guys in there, if we want to win some of these games against good teams, we got to play well. We had turnovers, had a punt return called back, had some opportunities here and there but we didn't execute, you drop a few passes here and there, you get your butt beat. Tennessee was good, give them credit. They ran the ball better than we did and usually the team that runs the ball the best has a chance to win the game. They were a lot better than us tonight. We didn't play very well and we got our tails whipped. Tennessee played well. "
On the early turnovers: "We fumbled the ball. We didn't plan on that, didn't plan on a lot of the things we did out there. I thought our coaches had some good plans out there on offense and defense. We just lost the ball. We thought his knee was on the ground on the first possession, but they told me that his knee wasn't down. We had two first downs on the first two possessions and fumbled right at them. That wasn't too smart, but they turned right to the guy and got his helmet on the ball, just a freshman making fumbles."
On the punt return called back on a blocking in the back penalty: "We coach our guys to screen the guy off, but No. 36 (D.J. Swearinger) didn't do that, he gave the guy a shove. We need to try and tighten up on special teams and find some guys to play their assignments."
On moving forward from the loss: "They played a lot better than us, coached a lot better than us, but we've got Arkansas next week. We're 6-3, that's a pretty good record and we've played some pretty good teams. We've got to learn that to beat the good teams we've got to play more efficiently."
QB Stephen Garcia:
On the beginning of the game: "We had two fumbles in five plays and it's hard to beat a team when you spot them those points. It was the same thing at Alabama when I threw that interception and they ran it back for a touchdown. It's tough beating teams on the road; especially teams in the SEC, especially good teams that we're playing now. It's hard to beat them when you spot them points."
On SC's red zone struggles: "We hung in there and kept our heads high until the very end and we moved the ball. We just have to get better. We have to get better in the red zone. We've got to score more touchdowns instead of kicking field goals. You can't play against these teams and trade touchdowns for field goals. You've got to start scoring touchdowns."
On defensive pressure/blitzes: "I think we did alright. I ran around and threw the ball out of bounds a couple of times to avoid some sacks. We got it down to the running back a couple of times. You know, I don't know how many times I got sacked but I don't think it was a whole lot so I think we did alright picking it up."
RB Kenny Miles:
On his first-career fumble: "You really can't blame it on the elements of the game. I had the ball and he hit me low and it popped out. It's something you never want to do as a running back."
WR Moe Brown:
On regrouping after the loss: "I wouldn't say it's a huge challenge, we've just got to do it. Coach has been talking about practicing fast and just translating it to the field tonight. That's a point of emphasis come Monday. We're going to fly around practice and we're going to make sure everybody is going after the ball, running after the ball, chasing the ball. Practice should translate to the field and tonight it showed. It's something that has to be addressed and it can't be happening anymore."