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South Carolina Gamecocks at Tennessee Volunteers: Shawn Elliott Postgame Press Conference

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Shawn Elliott talks about the gut-wrenching loss to the Vols

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On getting back in the game after a slow start:

One of those games where you just look back and you kinda reflect on the first quarter and you saw some missed opportunities and let that game start really fast for them offensively and really slow for us offensively. And then we kinda settle in and you know from the second quarter on our defense played well, we started making plays offensively and we always felt like we were in the football game from that point on.

Just settling down...We went into halftime, what was it, 17-3? I'll tell you, we didn't bat an eye...[Tennessee is] a well-coached, very good football team, but at no point did I think our team was outmatched.

On what he saw from the team:

What an effort by a great group of Gamecocks that nobody gave a shot...to come here and pull out the victory. But our football team did. Our football team believed. Our football team is getting better.

On how much a loss like this hurts:

That's not the way you wanna come here and lose a ball game...Our football team is hurting just like it did last week. It's a tough situation when you go and you do exactly what you want to do and you work as hard as you can work and you lay it all out on the line...and that last play certainly didn't win or lose the ball game for us, but it just kinda rips you.

On what he said to Jerrell Adams after the fumble at the end of the game:

What do you say to a guy who lays it on the line? The guys sitting there in tears because it hurt him so bad. You just tell him you love him. You pick him up and you move forward...That's all you can do. I don't fault him. He was trying to make a play, he was trying to win the game and that's what I want us to do.

On the decision to punt late in the 4th quarter:

It was the perfect call. We punted it, we got the ball back, we drove back down the field. We did exactly what we wanted to do. It was the right decision.

On Perry Orth's performance:

Gutsy. Perry could've done some better things early on in the football contest, but...we all make mistakes...We make good throws, we make great runs, we make bad throws... I think he did a good job, he put us in a position to win.

On why Nunez didn't play more:

We called a pass protection play and he handed the ball off on protection. I don't really understand it. He said he didn't get the pass route so therefore he was gonna hand the football off to our running back. And from that point forward you have to make a decision, is he in the game or is he out of the game. And we tried to get him in there a little more, but you've got to say okay, let's give ourselves a chance to win. And we weren't gonna do that handing the football off on a protection.

On the condition of Tennessee's field:

I was out there in pregame and I noticed the field kinda tearing up and the first thing I asked, does Under Armour make a different kind of studded cleat because we're gonna need some traction here. There were several times when we had some footing issues and I was very surprised by the field...Yeah we did slip around a little bit.

On moving forward:

We've got a Florida Gator team that's coming into our place. We've got a [Gamecock] team that believes in one another...They've got an interim head coach that couldn't be more proud of a football team. And we're gonna move on and we're gonna continue to improve and we're gonna make the most of it. The ball is gonna bounce our way.