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South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Clemson Tigers: Shawn Elliott Postgame Press Conference

Interim head coach Shawn Elliott talks about the loss to Clemson

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
On the effort from the Gamecocks:

Our team fought to the very end. I made sure our coaches prepared these guys to fight for 60 minutes. The players believed...they made plays and played with great effort against a great football team. And they did everything in their power. There were a few plays here and there that could've went another way, but I don't fault our football team, I don't fault our coaches, I don't fault anybody on our staff. We did everything in our power to go out there and give us an opportunity to defeat the number one team in the nation.

On Perry Orth not being sharp in the first half:

It affected us a lot. He missed some throws, he made some poor decisions...[In the second half] he came out and he stepped up his game...Perry is a great young man and he did everything he possibly could do with the tools that God gave him.

On Deebo Samuel:

He was injured for practically the entire season, and then to come out and play really well, he's got a great future...He needs to lead that wide receiver bunch into making plays next year.

On why he kicked the field goal at the end of the half instead of going for a TD:

I thought momentum was very, very important...I didn't want to go for it on 4th down and come away with zero points. I thought get the points, come away with a positive outlook coming out of the half and move on from there.

On how Clemson did so well on third downs:

Blocking, protecting, getting open. That usually does the trick.

On being the interim head coach for the second half of the season:

I can't tell you how privileged I've been to be the interim head coach here. It's been a great experience. I love those players. And those players fight. There's a lot of great men in that room. A team without a bunch of great men would've quit a long time ago. The win-loss record probably doesn't say what type of men are in that room, but they're special.

On whether he still has a shot to be hired as the permanent head coach:

I'm not even thinking about that. All I can do is go lay it on the line every time I have an opportunity to go lead this football team. It's not for me to decide of course. I'm not even worried about it.

On whether there's hope for the football program in the future:

We all understand there've got to be some needs addressed, but this foundation has been set and it's not as far off as you may think. Whatever happens, it's gonna move forward. It's gonna bounce back, I can assure you of that.

On whether the staff will be recruiting next week:

Oh we're going out recruiting. We're gonna go out and spread the message of the University of South Carolina.