South Carolina Coach Spurrier Postgame Quotes
SOUTH CAROLINA COACH STEVE SPURRIER
"This was a wonderful day for the Gamecocks, all of us getting another 11-win season back-to-back. Two years have been very similar, 6-2 in conference play and 11-2 overall. Our seniors, I cant say enough about those guys; D.J. Swearinger and Shaq Wilson, our two defensive captains, Justice Cunningham and T.J. Johnson our offensive guys, and a lot of juniors provided leadership also. Theyve really sort of showed our young guys how to play football, how to hang in there, keep playing in the fourth quarter. Weve taken some pretty good pride about winning the fourth quarter. Most of our games this season came down to the fourth quarter and somebody would make a play. Jadeveon Clowneys play knocking that ball loose after the questionable first down call, I told somebody Im glad the ref did that now. Jadeveon knocked it loose and we got it and scored to Ace the next play.
A lot of guys played super today. Ace Sanders, most valuable player in the game, three touchdowns and a punt return. He was sensational. Hes down here in Bradenton and you probably wonder how we got him away from Florida and Florida State. They passed on him, said he was too little, but he can play thats for sure. That was our good fortune that that happened. But he is an excellent player, and then, of course, Bruce Ellington made a play there at the end. I dont know if Ive ever given two quarterbacks the game ball. I said, Hey, weve got to give it to both you guys. Dylan and Connor and game balls to all the seniors to cap the careers that theyve had here at South Carolina with 38 wins I think it is now, nine and a half average for those guys.
Again, a good win for us in the fact that we scored in the last three minutes there, and we havent won one like that since Ive been here in eight years. So hopefully that will sort of tell us, Hey, we can do that. Its possible, just hang in there. Connor made a heck of a play getting out of a sack and then Dylan got out of a potential sack. And then that last play they sort of gambled and rushed five guys but he took his steps and let it go and Bruce was there. It was a good day, the fans here were tremendous. I keep being reminded by a lot of my buddies, We used to leave at halftime before it was going south on us. We dont leave anymore. So thats encouraging.
Outback Bowl did everything first class, super. Its the first Outback Bowl Ive ever won. Sort of personally greedy, I wanted to win one. Ive been lucky to win most of these in Florida, but this is the first one of the Outback Bowls."
On a fourth down measurement late in the game giving Michigan first down:
"Well you know what, I asked one of those other refs there, I said, You know the ball did not touch the first down marker. He said, I know it didnt. I said, Well, whyd you give it to him, and he said, I dont know. Thats what he said."
On Connor Shaws foot injury and Dylan Thompson getting time at quarterback:
"His foot was bothering him. He sort of hobbled off and Dylan was right there on call. Obviously there was no hesitation to fire him in there. Both of those young men are so super team oriented. Theres no jealousies; nothing. Even though Dylan went in there and zipped us down the field he knew Connor was coming back in, and Connor was okay when Dylan went back in. Those guys are just really, really good teammates, wonderful team players."
On the South Carolina offense:
"Michigan probably outplayed us overall. Gosh, they had 82 plays to our 52. We had a lot of big plays. We had more yards than them in just 30 less plays. We made some big plays but we left some out there too. We had a couple of drives that didnt get anything, missed two field goals. Their guy, I think, made all their field goals. It was a game that they probably played a little bit better overall, but we were able to score points, score five touchdowns."
On defensive end Jadeveon Clowney's hit forcing and recovering a fumble late in the game:
"No, he doesnt hit that hard in practice. We have a rule, dont clobber teammates, so he doesnt do that in practice. Hes got that one little slip move and they get nothing but air when they go at him. He did it twice. They end up scoring on that other drive. I told him after the game, Im glad you hit the quarterback on the last play. That kid can throw the ball 70-75 yards at least. He was getting ready to hoist that thing about 80 yards down there it looked like and who knows what could have happened, a bunch of guys jumping around for a ball. So we strongly encourage our guys, please dont let him throw it if you can. We had a three man rush, three or four, and he was able to get a hit on him."
On finishing the season with a win:
"We hit eight of 10 goals. The team set a whole bunch of goals, which we always do; win eight, nine, 10, 11. Beat Clemson is one of our goals every year and try to win a bowl game and finish in the top 10. WE did not win the division, did not win the SEC, we hit eight of the other 10. Last years team did almost the exact same thing. It can be better, it can still be better."