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South Carolina Gamecocks vs. North Carolina Tar Heels: Steve Spurrier Postgame Press Conference

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"The football gods smiled on the Gamecocks tonight"

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

The Gamecocks managed a close 17-13 victory over the Tar Heels to open the season Thursday night. Here is the full press conference and the highlights are below.

On whether he's encouraged or discouraged by how the Gamecocks played:

I'm encouraged that we played poorly and won. We're very, very happy because we  know the way this thing started out we coulda been way behind at halftime and we were only down 13=10...So we're very pleased we won a ballgame, but we know we're fortunate. We're not strutting out of here like we're hot stuff, that's for sure.

We didn't look very good tonight, especially on offense. But we got a victory, so hopefully we can coach our way to getting a lot better before we play Kentucky next week.

On the defense:

Real proud of our entire defense. We gave up a bunch of yards I guess, but we kept them out of the end zone, held them to 13 points.

On Skai Moore:

Yeah, Skai can pick the ball off, he does it in practice all the time. As everybody knows when you play cover 2 that middle linebacker down the middle, he has to cover a lot of range and he has a knack for watching the quarterback. Those were the plays that won the game. Skai Moore did it.

On the offense:

I told Coach Sands it was a wonderful idea putting [Shon Carson] in...Hopefully we can learn a bunch from this game. Our passing game is not very good, as you all know...We'll work on it, see if we can get better.

But all of our snaps were good tonight...That's one thing I think we did well, we snapped it to the quarterback...But yeah we were pretty sad, we couldn't get lined up.

On Connor Mitch:

He had some cramps. I guess it was a little hotter tonight than we thought it was gonna be...we had to IV about 12 or 13 players during the course of the game. He had a little hip pointer, I think they iced him up and he came back to hand off.

I think [Connor will start next week], if he's healthy and so forth. He did okay. He got hit a few times...I don't know that we had a lot of guys open that he misfired on.

On the taunting penalty:

We couldn't figure it out...[Mitch] said I just said something to a buddy of mine and the next thing I knew it was taunting. But he must have said something or they wouldn't have called it. But we'd of probably found a way to go backwards off that anyway.

On how many different guys took snaps:

That's sorta what you do when you're not a good passing team. You mix around a whole lot of guys and we'll probably keep doing that and trying to find a way to run the ball effectively.

On Sean Kelly:

One player that had a beautiful game is our walk-on punter. You want me brag on a punter, I'm bragging on ours. Not only did he punt beautifully all night, he made the tackle on that field goal we attempted on the last play of the half...Sean Kelly our punter got him, tackled him right there. So give a little praise to the Gamecock punter in your write-ups, okay?

On making first downs at the end of the game:

I told Lorenzo Ward if we'd made two first downs at the end of three of those games last year we'd all be smiling a lot better but we didn't do it....That was very, very encouraging to run out two first downs.