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South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Florida Gators: Shawn Elliott Postgame Press Conference

Interim head coach Shawn Elliott talks about another close loss by the Gamecocks

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
On having another close loss after playing well late in the game:

"The story of our football team the last few weeks, we don't start very quick but we finish really strong...Just like I have the last few games I thought we were gonna have an opportunity to take the last drive down there and have a potential game-winning score. But as it turned out the past two weeks, we didn't have the juice to finish and win the football game."

On the defense:

"I thought our defense played really well in the first half and kept us in the ballgame. A couple of mistakes here and there in the first half on their part, but I thought they played a tremendous game. Unfortunately, there was that third down play right there at the end."

On South Carolina's difficulty defending on third downs:

"That was the frustrating part because we were playing so well against the run and I kept telling them...they're not gonna beat us running the football, we need to prepare for the 3rd down situation. Early on we weren't getting any pressure...it's hard for a secondary if you're not getting  a push up front to maintain coverage...That changed a little bit there in the second half, we got some pressure, they started getting their hands up and that's why they were a little better in the second half than in the first."

On the offense:

"Offensively today we were just dominated by a really good defense and a really good coaching staff that had a game plan that was ready to shut us down. It's no secret they've got great players...we knew it was a tall task going in, but I never felt like it was going to be the way it started out.  It was just as if we were...off-rhythm so to speak. Quarterback play in the first half wasn't very good, our O-Line play couldn't get any push running the football, backs couldn't make any headway running, we had trouble getting guys open. And that continued until about the 4th quarter."

On why the Gamecocks haven't been scoring much in the first quarter:

"When you have missed assignments, you're not blocking successfully, you're not running the right play that's called, that tends to eliminate the points being put on the board."

On whether the team is still having fun or getting discouraged:

"Certainly the first three quarters weren't all that fun to be honest with you. But there was never a look on a man's face where I thought they were giving up...You could see it in their eyes when we put those back to back scores together, they were ready to go. If you looked at our defense they were playing lights out...they really played well, there was no quit in them. They were out there having the time of their life as much as they could without having any help from [the offense]."

On the leadership from players on the team:

"Those guys...want to play as well and make this season, with everything that's going on, as memorable as they can. They're strong-willed individuals. When you get voted a captain by your teammates it says a lot and they're doing exactly what they need to be doing."

On the new helmets:

"When you're in a situation like we're in and we're struggling a bit, you've got to change things up...It just came to me, I thought it might be a good idea to get the guys excited, a little more energy and I thought we'd bring out the new decal. The response was positive from our team...But I told them right before we went out that these helmets don't make the team, it's what you put inside the helmet."