South Carolina put forth one of its best offensive performances under head coach Steve Spurrier. The talk after the game 48-10 victory was the Gamecocks’ (2-0) passing attack and not the ‘Air-Raid’ offense employed by East Carolina.
South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier
Head coach Steve Spurrier
Opening comments … A good game for our guys. We didn’t play spectacularly, but we had a lot of good plays here and there. We also had some bad plays. Hopefully we can learn from them. We felt coming in we’d have a chance to get the ball off and see what happens. Probably today the ball was in the air more distance than any game I’ve coached here. We got it down there. We didn’t hit them all. At least we got them in the air. Our receivers had fun going after them. Dylan Thompson was good. He was ready to play, had a lot of confidence. He was in command out there. He had a few bad plays. Hopefully he can learn from them, especially that collision on the 2-yard line. That was scary. We never tell him to duck his head like that.
It was a good win. The defense played well. Jimmy Legree had his best game ever as a Gamecock. Some of our youngsters that got in late didn’t do much to stop East Carolina but it was good to have a lot of guys playing. We try to win the fourth quarter around here. We talked about it all week and Seth Strickland got a touchdown to help us win the fourth quarter.
On the QB situation … If Connor is 100 percent, he’s our guy. Now we know if something happens to Connor, Dylan can go in there and throw it around. That Vandy game, he didn’t have much opportunity. That screen play didn’t have a chance and they blitzed him and he got sacked. There’s a lot he can learn from playing games.
On the amount of passing compared to running … They were tough on the run today. I asked Shawn Elliott what do you like running. He said, ‘Coach, I’d keep throwing it every down.’ We were getting a lot of yards per pass attempt and weren’t getting much in run attempts. I like when the line coach says to keep throwing.
On the atmosphere … It was a beautiful day. The fans were alive and ready to go. I wish they’d stay after halftime though. East Carolina could’ve mounted a comeback. Fans, stay in the ballpark a little longer.
On Shaw’s injury … He’s got a bone bruise deep in there that just hurts when he throws. It just hurts. I don’t know how to relate it to something else. It’s a deep muscle Bone bruise, or whatever you call it. It’s just painful. You just have to let time heal it. He’ll be fine.
South Carolina players
Cornerback Jimmy Legree
On the QB situation … I don’t think we should forget how great of a player Connor is. He’s a great player. My job as the backup is to always be ready. All week I just had my mind focused on it’s my week to show what I can do. We got off to a great start. I hit Damiere Byrd and it helped my confidence.
On if he was nervous … To be honest, I wasn’t nervous at all. I was just praying all week. Football is just a game. I came into the game and told the receivers to be ready. The important thing is coach Spurrier gave me a boost of confidence yesterday. He gave me a Bible verse and told me he had confidence in me. It was, “The Lord your God is with you wherever you go .. who then should we fear. (Joshua 1:9)”
On his relationship with Connor Shaw … My relationship with Connor is great. We’re good friends. We share as much as we can about life and football, obviously. We got in the film room early every day this week and watched film.
On Thompson’s play … It’s not a thing that surprised me because (Dylan) does it in practice. He’s done it in high school. He played great. Whoever the quarterback is, our job is to go out there and make plays. He made perfect throws and the guys made catches.
On how he feels … I wasn’t even thinking about my knee. It’s feeling great. My body is feeling great. I’m at a good weight right now. I’m just going to keep pushing.
WR Bruce Ellington … It’s great just to catch the ball and make plays and be a part of the offense. It’s just fun to be out there as a team and win.
CB Jimmy Legree … Going into the game we knew they would throw the ball a lot, so it was a good opportunity for our defense to make plays. That’s what we did today.
Head coach Ruffin McNeill
The better team won this week. We played a top-10 team and they came ready to play. I voted them eighth in the polls last week and it was an obvious mismatch for us. We didn’t help ourselves at all with the turnovers and long plays given up on defense. Against a great team like South Carolina, they don’ need our help. They have the talent on both sides of the ball to accomplish things. Offensively, defensively and on special teams, they are a very talented team. Against a team like that, you can not make mistakes on either side of the ball. It was definitely a game where we faced a top-10 team and got outplayed.
On the South Carolina defense … They’re a defense that can range all over the field, has great length, and speed. Lorenzo Ward is a very talented play caller. Opportunistic is how I would define their defense as a whole. They’ll be a strong contender in their division and the SEC.
QB Shane Carden … We don’t ever want to play like that. We turned the ball over way too much, including myself. We just have to learn from it and be ready for our conference game next week.
CB Leonard Paulk …Dylan is a really good quarterback and he played very well today. You have to give him a lot of credit for the job he did. He put the ball where it needed to be.
*All quotes compiled by the staff of South Carolina Sports information