Oct. 1, 2005
QUOTING HEAD COACH Tommy Tuberville --- THE SOUTH CAROLINA GAME
"It was an excellent team effort from top to bottom. We got our focus and we got better, offense, defense and the kicking game. Our guys were focused, and we have gotten better in the last month. Our team is getting better. We just have to get back healthy. The open date comes at a good time next week. We will go back and work on fundamentals. We have a lot road games with the next four out of six games, so we have to prepare for that. I am happy where the team is at. Our guys were really prepared. It was good to see Brandon back out there and have a good night. We tried to run the ball a little bit more, but they ran an eight-man front and it forced us to throw. Brandon (Cox) was pretty much on.
"They struggled with a new quarterback. He scared us more than the other guy because he was more mobile, but our guys contained him pretty much the first half. We put pressure on him and made him throw the football. It was a great effort, good kicking game and we are just about where we need to be going into the last six games of the season.
"Travis (Williams) was all over the field. He's getting better. He was trying to play everybody's position the first few games. He's just trying to coach too much. We've asked a lot of him. This game, our players said to play your game and we are going to help you out. We've come together as a team a lot more in the last few weeks. We still have some things we have to work out. We played a lot of guys tonight and it will pay off for us. It is fun to see this team getting better and better.
"We wanted to run the ball, but you could tell a few weeks ago they gave up a lot of rushing yards. They completely changed their defensive philosophy. They are forcing you to throw the football. If you can't throw it, you are in trouble. We wanted to get the ball in Kenny's (Irons) hands early. He is getting better and is understanding more about the offense. He is getting the feel a little bit better * being able to run the ball using his eyes. And so does Brandon. It was a good night for both of them.
"We are going to have two tough road games. We are going to have to fight and scratch to get victories in those games. We will find out a lot about our team. If we go in there and play well, people will start recognizing us. We've played pretty good football. We've gotten better. We just got off to a slow start.
"We are in pretty good shape. The big thing is the offensive line working with the quarterback with all the audibles and things. It is good to see all of it coming together. We played a lot of our players. We played a lot of our backup offensive linemen in the second quarter tonight. Brandon is learning to play with all the guys. We stayed away from the penalties, and we have done a good job of staying consistent. We made some long drives out there tonight. We are pretty much where I would hope we would be, but we still have a lot of room to improve.
(On the team walking out arm-in-arm): "That's the first time. They felt like it was time to get back close together and believing in the guy next to you. That's what it is all about. They have to know that they are going to do their job and you do your job. We've been pretty much a separate team the last few weeks knowing that we were going to win the game. We needed to play closer together and more tight to the vest. That was totally their idea.
(On Auburn's defense): "Unfortunately, we gave up that long pass. We just got ran by, and that's uncalled for on that long pass. Our guys fought hard. We contained the quarterback for the most part. The thing we didn't want them to do was run the quarterback draw. Defensively, we got better. We are playing a lot of guys. We are going to have a good defense at the end of the year. Playing all of the different players that we are playing, we are gett ing a lot of valuable experience.
"We had a lot of people here. The last few weeks, it's been kind of down a little bit. It was great to see our crowd get back into it. I am sure we will have a great crowd when we go to Arkansas and LSU. WE come back for Ole Miss in a month, which is a long time. Hopefully, we'll have that type of crowd when we come back."
On the first possession... "We came out there and were able to score on our first possession. Coach Borges is always preaching to beat them to the punch and we did that tonight. We were able to keep it going in the second half. We have made great strides in the last few weeks on offense."
On being more productive in the second half... "We have been working on a stronger performance in the second half. We had 31 points at the half and our goal was to come out and score 50. We are always looking to have a good second half and I felt like we did that tonight."
On tonight's performance... "We made some big strides tonight. People have been questioning us with the caliber of teams we have played, but we are a good team. We made some big plays and definitely showed improvement out there so hopefully this will prove that we are a quality team."
On going on the road... "After five games at home, it is time to experience something else. Our crowd was great tonight. We really need to build on that and take some of that energy on the road with us. The last few games have helped a lot to build up our confidence and we are ready to go on the road."
On having receiving yards... "We thought they were going to stack the line so throwing to me out of the backfield gave me a chance to make some plays. Our offensive line did a great job, as they always do. We were just trying to mix things up a little bit."
On beating former school South Carolina... "It was a great feeling winning tonight, knowing that I had played there. I thank Coach Gran and Coach Tuberville for the opportunity they gave me to play here. I enjoyed going out there tonight and beating my former school."
On how the offensive line has produced... "We have been playing outstanding, especially tonight. We have been growing up and we are starting to peak at the right time. We have really gelled and come together."
On going on the road... "We definitely want to go on the road. We have momentum coming off of tonight. We really need to go on the road and test the waters a little bit."
On returning from an injury... "It felt really good to get out there any play again. I have been working hard all week with my teammates. I was a little sore at times. I made a few cuts that hurt, but being out there was enough."
On going into a bye week... "This was a great game for us going into a bye week. We did a lot of things right and executed on both sides of the ball. You can't go into a bye week any better than this."
Auburn LB #51 Travis Williams On the win... "This really means a lot to me. It almost brings tears to my eyes. I have been waiting five years to prove a point and I am just happy for my team."
On whether he was surprised about the final score... "We weren't surprised with the final score. All this week, we talked about doing our job. We still have a lot of work to do and we need to continue to get better. The sky is the limit for this team, but now we have to take it on the road in two weeks."
On the bye week... "We can't be tired because the SEC is a grind. We can't let up now. We have to continue to work hard every day."
On whether he was surprised at the final score... "I expected the score to be closer than it was. We came in and played with high intensity. We knew that they had some weaknesses and we tried to attack those."
On pressuring the quarterback... "We knew he was a running quarterback. He stepped up in the pocket and tried to run it a few times. The coaches did a great job all week of preparing us for that."
On facing Arkansas in two weeks... "We just have to keep up the intensity. We have a bye week so when we return, we have to play at the same level we have been and take it to Arkansas."
On South Carolina quarterback Antonio Heffner... "We knew they had a new guy at quarterback and we wanted to pressure him early and often. Other than a couple of plays, I think the defense overall played great. We now have two weeks to prepare for Arkansas and correct some mistakes."
On getting help from the defensive line... "I think I only had a shot at two or three tackles. If we can defend the run, and put up a few points every game, we will have a chance to be successful every time out."
On playing four of the next five on the road... "It will be interesting to see how this team does. We haven't been tested and we haven't had to go on the road yet. I have full confidence in our guys that we will score some points on offense and play well on defense."
South Carolina Head Coach Steve Spurrier
They are a pretty good team, I guess. They are better than us. Obviously we could have given them a better game but I don't know what else we could have done. When you can't run or throw well you don't play well. Offensively, we couldn't stay on the field. Defensively, we didn't tackle well. We'll review tape, see who played with effort and get those guys on the field.
On the first two timeouts... The first one, we sent in the number but the quarterback (Antonio Heffner) called the wrong formation. The second one, (wide receiver) Kenny McKinley didn't go in. We gave a three wide receiver set and he just didn't go in.
On Auburn... Auburn is a very good team. They have athletes all over the field. They had excellent protection on the quarterback. It seemed like we blitzed all around but could never get to him.
On the USC offense... It is hard to say anything bad about our defense because our offense couldn't get anything done. It was one of the worst offensive performances I have ever had, but I have had some stinkers. I am just glad we didn't get the big zero on us.
Offensive Tackle Na'Shan Goddard On the struggles of the offense... It was a combination of a little bit of everything. We were just missing things here and there and the next thing you know we were back on the 10-yard line and that put the defense in a bad position. We had to try to punt in a deep situation. It definitely wasn't (quarterback Antonio) Heffner by himself, it was a combination of things.
On Auburn's defensive quickness... Auburn definitely is a good team. They looked good out there tonight. The linebackers were really quick and they got the best of us tonight.
On what they need to do in the coming weeks... We have to stop making so many mistakes, and that is everybody, not just one person. We have to be more physical and as coach always says, we have to play fast, just like Auburn played fast tonight. We have to come together as a team. Hopefully we can bounce back on some other teams. You can always turn around a season.
Running Back Daccus Turman
On the offense... We didn't have our best offensive performance tonight. There were a lot of factors in why we couldn't put it together today. As a team we didn't come out and do what we had to do. We didn't live up to our own expectations.
We play one game at a time and it was unfortunate that we didn't come out with a victory today. We will prepare for the next game just as hard as anyone else.
On the beginning of the game... We had a few miscommunications, but this isn't the first time that this has happened this season. You never want to start a game like that, but unfortunately that is the way things started off tonight.
Wide Receiver Syvelle Newton On the game... We just couldn't get anything started. They have a great defense. We just have to stay behind Antonio (Heffner) because it was his first start. The loss had nothing to do with Antonio, we just couldn't get anything started and we couldn't get any breaks.
On the pressure on Antonio Heffner's first start... I could feel the pressure behind him. He got the his first game out of the way and hopefully he will be ready next week.
Quarterback Antonio Heffner On the miscommunication to start the game... I started off the game with a miscommunication. It basically came down to players trying to substitute and we couldn't get them in the game quick enough. It was pretty loud early on, but it really wasn't a factor for me.
On moving on after the game... We were ready to play, they just had a good game. I am not worried about falling apart at all. Things didn't go our way today. It all comes back on me as the quarterback, but we will move on.