South Carolina Head Coach Steve Spurrier News Conference Comments

December 31, 2012

Opening statement:
"I think our guys have practiced pretty well. You always hope that leads to an excellent game, but you never know whats going to happen when the real ball is kicked off and you start playing. Preparation-wise I think weve done a pretty good job thus far. Weve got, I think, two mature teams, probably, getting ready to battle out there tomorrow. This is going to be a chamber of commerce day here, 74 or 75 degrees. Ill admit our guys like warm weather a little bit better than cold weather. It should be a heck of a game and were looking forward to it."

On South Carolinas quarterback situation:
"Let me address that a little differently than I did the last time I talked about it. Connor Shaw has been our starter. I always sort of believe you should tell one guy its his game unless he gets hurt or it really goes terribly wrong and you have to make a change. But Connors been our starter pretty much all year. He feels, and we all feel, hes 100 percent healthy. So right now were going into it that its his game, this is your game, lets go. Dont worry about making a mistake, getting jerked out or anything like that. Dylan is going to play though. Like we said, Dylan is going to play in there somewhere. But, again, I just believe its important to tell one guy, Hey, youre going to be the quarterback as long as you play well. So thats where we are right now. Were hoping Connor plays about all the game; thats what were hoping for. Hes done that off and on for about two years now. So hes been our starting quarterback and he certainly deserves the right to go into it with, Hey this is my game, lets go."

On the hype behind an SEC/Big 10 match-up:
"Like I said the other day, I think when the ball is kicked off its our 11 guys against their 11 for three hours or three and a half. All the hype of even Michigan-South Carolina, SEC-Big 10, this, that and the other, its who plays the best that day is probably whos going to win the thing, who plays the best tomorrow."

On Jadeveon Clowney:
"Hes handled himself pretty well. Hes played well, obviously being a first team All-American in every poll and every service. I think hes really our only first team time All-SEC guy. Ace Sanders was first team on specials teams punt return. Hes been our star player. Hes pretty good one-on-one versus pass rushers. I dont know what Coach Hokes got planned for him. I guess well find out tomorrow, wont we. But going with what a lot of teams have done, a lot of teams have left a running back on his side and sometimes put an extra tight end standing up over there. I think the last team we played always tried to slide their protection toward him to try to get a guard and tackle helping out. Weve got ways of moving him around, all that kind of stuff. Well see how it all plays out."

On the challenge of getting ready for a bowl game:
"What we do, and Im sure what Coach Brady probably does also, is you talk about it before the season. We hope to be in a bowl game, and we hope to win a bowl game. I think about every coachs goal is once you get into the season lets not only get one, lets win a bowl game. So now were at that point."

On young players coming up that can contribute next year:
"Its hard to look that far down the road. As soon as this game is over well start looking at the guys and replacing the senior players and so forth. But theyve got a little bit of work. Nosovitch, our quarterback, Brendan Nosovitch has looked good in our little Monday night scrimmages. We dont tackle; we keep guys up the way we scrimmage nowadays. Hes done well, and some of those young receivers are doing well. Kwinton Smiths got a chance to be a good player next year."

On how the players attitudes have changed with success:
"Its definitely because of the senior leadership and even some junior leadership. The senior class, as you know, is the winningest in school history, I think winningest by a long shot. Theyve got 37 I think right now in four years, averaging a little more than nine a year. Those guys, theyve set some goals and gone after them. We havent hit all of them. We didnt win the SEC, but we did win our division and have won a bunch of games, won the state championship several times as we all know. So theyve accomplished a lot and they want to win this one. They want to go out a winner just like the Michigan seniors want to go out a winner also. Give those guys credit for the success weve had the last three years particularly. Four years ago was a similar year, but the last three have been pretty good."