Steve Spurrier Talks About The Bama Game
Steve Spurrier
SID
Posted Sep 13, 2005


Columbia, S.C. - South Carolina head football coach Steve Spurrier met with the media on Tuesday afternoon as the Gamecocks prepare for Alabama, this Saturday. Saturday's game will be broadcast on CBS ...

"We are looking forward to the game Saturday. It's the first conference game at Williams-Brice Stadium for me and our staff. Hopefully it will be a good one. Alabama, you watch them on tape, they may be just as good as anyone in the conference this year. They are leading the conference in most of the defensive statistics. They return just about everyone on defense and are obviously a very good team. It's a difficult task for us, but we are looking forward to the game and playing in front of our home crowd on Saturday afternoon."

(On the team's health status)
"We came out of the last game very healthy. We expect everyone to play except Andy Boyd, our tight end, he will be out for 2-3 weeks or more. Jonathan Hannah or Robert Pavlovic will start at that position."

(On going into this week's game)
"We are concerned about a lot of things. Running game, pass protection, run defense, we have got a lot of issues we would like to correct. On the other hand, we are going to play as hard as we can and try to do what our team is capable of doing. For us to be successful, we need to run the ball much better. Alabama is tough to run on. We are not going to just throw every down. We have got to hand it off to our running backs. We have got to block some people and make some rush yards."

(On playing game by game this season)
"We are just trying to get ready to play each game, one at a time, the best we can. We would like to have super confidence that we can go up and down the field but that might not occur right away and may not occur for quite awhile. The defenses are very good in the Southeastern Conference, really, all over the country. The more I watch all these other teams, there are very few that just move it up and down the field. I don't see many teams really doing that all frequently like they did in the past. I think we all just have to understand that these defensive players all around the south are really good. The coaches got all kind of different schemes now and that's the way life is."

(Comparing Georgia to Alabama)
"Their defenses are really not that similar. Alabama is not afraid to blitz just about everybody. Georgia's rush was about five or six guys. They got pressure with the front four and a lot of times just three guys. Alabama's offense with Brodie Croyle is hand off to the running back and he does the throwing. He's not a runner like Shockley."

(Team concerns)
"Our biggest concern is protecting the passer and the quarterback making good decisions. It takes awhile. Obviously running the ball takes pressure off the quarterback to do all the work back there. Hopefully we can establish a lot better running game as we keep going into the season."

(On running the ball)
"There were a few good blocks in there. We ran a couple of decent sweeps. Daccus Turman I think had a 10-yard run in there. Syvelle (Newton)
still has our longest (run)
. We are not getting enough but we have to keep working on it."

(On Coach Spurrier being recruited by Alabama as a player)
"I did visit Alabama. Steve Sloan, who was an all-state quarterback in Tennessee, had sign with them the year before. I think I went by (Coach Bryant's)
office Sunday morning and met briefly with him. That was about it. I wasn't high on their list probably. They had Joe Namath, Steve Sloan and a bunch of other guys. They did offer me a scholarship and my dad, that was maybe a place he sort of liked with Coach Bryant there. My mom sort of liked Georgia Tech with the academics and football mixed in there. In fact, Jim Carlen recruited me, he was at Georgia Tech then.

(On Syvelle Newton)
"We always have plays with running backs, receivers, different guys throwing the ball. I'm not giving out any secrets. Syvelle is an excellent runner with the ball. If you watch the tape from last year's South Carolina-Alabama game, he had some excellent runs there. Had one for a touchdown and one where he went in pretty much untouched. So that's something we think about, getting him the ball more."

(On team morale)
"Our morale was fine yesterday. Our guys are resilient. We watched the tape. We sort of blamed ourselves for not winning the game, nothing else. No one person in particular. We have got to execute better, execute our assignments, play with a little more effort, play faster. We're going to try to do that this week."

(On Alabama)
"Alabama is a big, strong team. They are fast and quick. They look a lot like Georgia as far as their athletes. It will be a tough assignment but we have to hang in there with them. We have to make some things happen. We got to take care of the ball much better, play with very few turnovers and stupid penalties. We didn't quite do that last week."

(On the kicking situation)
"We all wish that one of them was our best kicker. You watched them all in the preseason just like we did. They have struggled at times. The feeling is that Josh (Brown)
makes them during the games, he did make them for a pretty high percentage last year. Ryan (Succop)
is obviously the guy with the big leg. He's got a chance to be really one of the best kickers, I think, in the history of the school. He can reach from 55 (yards)
. I don't think I have ever had a guy that kicks them off into the endzone just about every time. I think all but two this year he has kicked out. That's very helpful. I keep thinking we are going to force a punt after one of those, but we haven't done that this year. Ryan I think will really be a big-time kicker for us. Josh has been a little more accurate and reliable. He just pushed that one and it hit the pole and it came back for us."

(On Blake Mitchell)
"He's coming around. Blake has done an excellent job learning our stuff. We probably threw a little too much at him, but we just sort of feel like, if we are going to have a good passing game, and I really believe we are, he has to jump right on in and try to check here and there. He made a couple of checks the other night. He is starting to understand the game and how we are trying to play it. He's done very well."

USC ATHLETICS DIRECTOR ERIC HYMAN

"As you all well know, the Southeastern Conference presidents supported a million dollar donation to the relief fund. Every school has taken their own initiatives. We are going to be collecting money this weekend at our Alabama game, with the proceeds going towards the American Red Cross and Carolina Cares. Carolina Cares is an initiative that was set up by Congressman Clyburn and Mayor Coble. All the money that is collected is going towards the local Red Cross and Carolina Cares, which is helping out a lot of the individuals making a transition from the part of the country that has been ravaged."

"There are a lot of needs that these individuals have. This is a collaborative effort taking place with the university. We have student leaders involved with it, our student athletes, the SAAC (Student Athlete Advisory Committee)
and the Boy Scouts. They will be at every entrance stadium. We will be there from 1-4 p.m. and will take this money and collect it and present to these agencies. This is our way to be supportive and helpful to people who are in dire straits and really need our support. This is Americans helping Americans."


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