Following a 35-28 loss to Texas A&M in College Station, TX, Interim Coach Shawn Elliot and some of the Gamecock football players (Isaiah Johnson, Brandon Shell and Brandon Wilds) sat down with the media for their weekly presser to discuss the previous week and the upcoming trip to Knoxville. Here's a few notable quotes.
(on the tAMU game)
"Looking at the film, there were a lot of mistakes. We beat ourselves...it was everything that we did as a unit."
"Coach gives us four keys to worry about, but, we didn't do that, so..."
(on having more fun the past few weeks)
"Yes, we've been having a lot of fun out there, from the locker room, practice, pretty much everywhere. Just positive energy."
(on the atmosphere being down the last few weeks of HBC's tenure)
"Yes, you could say that. That's fair to say."
Coach Shawn Elliot:
"Tennessee Vol week. Big week. Good football team. A lot of tough losses for them. This team could be one of the best in the league. They're a much-improved team.. They've got a great head coach in Butch Jones. One of the best combinations, you look at that quarterback/running back and it's one of the best in the country. they've got a lot of tools...but we've got to continue to improve and try to move forward and get us an SEC win, and beat Tennessee over there."
(on Pharoh Cooper)
"He's one of those players where you can line up anywhere and have an instant chance to make something happen, so, we're trying to do that."
(on the closeness of the UT series)
"I guess matching up, it has been fairly evenly at least the last few years. We've got to go continue to do it and see if the ball bounces our way."
"First and foremost, Texas A&M beat us. We didn't beat ourselves. We can play better defensively. There are some adjustments that can be made. I see some opportunities to have some focus and some energy to improve on those situations..."
(on defensive adjustments)
"I've sat in on a couple of defensive meetings just to understand what's being talked about to our players. It's just simple adjustments. For us to contain a zone runner, or a zone option QB. They're very aware of what needs to happen for us to make adjustments. Recognizing things is going to have to be a must. Communication is going to be a must. Hopefully our guys understand that going forward."
"I don't think we're tired. We've had an odd season. It almost feels like we've very rarely played at home. It turned out that we had to go down to LSU, but we went down there, obviously we would've liked to be at home, but it didn't change the fact that we're tired or not. We had an open week at a very opportune time, so I feel like we should be fresh and ready to go."
(on gaining turnovers)
"It's play after play, and hit after hit that ultimately causes the back to lose the football. I feel like we can keep putting on our hat time and again and we can keep laying the wood, we will force the turnovers."
(on Skai Moore calling defensive plays himself the second half)
"Players have some common sense too...There's not one of us sitting in this room right here today that has all of the answers. For a player to come up and have the ability to communicate with his coach about, hey let's try to do this, I think that says a lot about what they can say to a coach and vice versa."
(on involving the TE position more)
"well, actually, Hayden [Hurst] was playing wide receiver. So, we'd like to get the TE more involved, but we'd also like to get Hayden more involved. There's a lot of things we'd like to get involved. Whether it's Jerrell Adams, Hayden, Pharoh. What did he have, 3 catches? 4 catches, 2 carries? we'd like to get him more involved we're looking for the best play. You can't stare down receivers, you can't target guys. Unless your offense s working together, you're not going to be successful."
(on UT's defensive front)
"They come off the football. They jump the snap count and get up the field quick. They've got good inside pressure players. They've got a strong front, very capable of all things, both controlling the run and rushing the passer."
(on having more 'fun')
"Yes. We needed that. As a coach, you read players. You see how they walk in the meeting room, you can tell how they hold their head. We were not having fun, even in our wins...If there's a small little thing I can say or a coach can say to him and make him smile and make him feel appreciated, then that's what we're gonna do."
(on the future job and correspondence with Ray Tanner)
"No. Right now, we're working to win football games. That will play itself out. I'm not worried about that one bit. I'm just hoping to prepare this football team to be the best it can be. Hopefully win a few games, and see where it all goes."
(on teams reading plays)
"There's extremes you don't have to go to. If you have multiple guys calling plays and good schemes you don't need to worry about that stuff."
(on Rocky Top)
"Well, consider my wife's from Chattanooga, and her entire family loves the Tennessee Vols...every time you hear it you know where it's coming from...I don't have a problem with it, I think it's kinda neat."
(on the team not listening to Coach Spurrier the last few weeks)
"I don't think that's a question that I can answer. We all knew that there was something to be changed, but I don't think you can tune out Steve Spurrier."
(on being more physical after the Missouri game)
"I kinda knew I didn't play as well that game, and I was hard on myself, because I knew I could've done better. We had a conversation about it, and I knew I could be more physical, and that's what I'm trying to do."
(on having 'more fun')
"Everybody's into it. It kinda rubs off on everybody."
(on returning for his final season)
"You have to take every opportunity you get. I didn't want to leave anything on the table."
(on Rocky Top)
"I dunno. They play it about a hundred times a game. It just gets stuck in your head."
(on the tAMU game)
"Even though we lost, we felt like we took a huge step as a team."
The Gamecocks travel to Neyland Stadium this Saturday to face a much-improved Tennessee Volunteers football team.
Feel free to watch the whole video below: