Q&A with Charlie Whitehurst
Coach Bowden was a little emotional today in his press conference when asked about his job security. What are your thoughts on that?
Whitehurst: Well, I don't know about some of the things that have been said, but you never know. We are just trying to win as many games as we can, and you'd think that after the last two that sort of thing would die down, but I guess it hasn't. For us, we are just trying to better the situation as much as possible by winning football games.
Charlie this rivalry game is so important to the people in the state of South Carolina, but to the players it seems to vary to a certain degree. In your estimation, could you lose this game and still have a successful season?
Whitehurst: I don't know. (laughing) The way things have gone for us, we've had some big wins, we've had some tough losses, I think there's a lot of importance for this game. I think if we win this game you can say this is a good season, but if we lose, this is the same old same old. There definitely is a lot of importance on this game. It would be a lot more fun if we win it, I'll tell you that right now.
What did you learn about this rivalry, experiencing it for the first time last season?
Whitehurst: Just how big it is. I was a redshirt the first time, but then after playing through it one time, you know that this is one of the biggest rivalries in the nation. For whatever reason, it's huge. It's going to be a different experience for all of us, going into a hostile environment and playing in their place. The bottom line is we are going to have to be ready to play.
Is this team playing it's best football of the year right now?
Whitehurst: I think so. I hope we are peaking right now. This is the time you need to peek. I think we've been a little shaky in some games, but as of late, there's no question that we've played our best football.
I've asked every player this the last two weeks, and now I'm asking you. Is there a place you'd rather play in personally for a bowl game this year?
Whitehurst: Not really. I'd rather go to the Gator or the Peach. If we can win this game, I think we'll go to one of those two. I don't really have a preference, but I'm from Atlanta, it would be nice to go there, but I'm 0-1 in that stadium, I played there once in high school, so I really don't have a true preference.
The offense is starting to click the last two weeks, but I still sense some concern in the redzone. What do you guys have to do Saturday to make sure you put 6 points on the board when you are in South Carolina territory?
Whitehurst: Well, I think if I can play better, and not turn it over that would help out a lot and we'll have a better chance. It seems like a I turn it over about one time a game in the redzone and I know I have to cut that out. The key is if we are running the ball well and we are in a rhythm then that will help us get the ball in the endzone Saturday.
Do you attribute that more to you just trying to make a play because you feel that pressure to get 6 points instead of 3?
Whitehurst: Maybe a little bit, but it's just harder down there. You don't have a deep threat, the corners and safeties go after the ball a little more and you just have to be sharper down there.
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