Q&A with Tommy Sharpe

"We are more concerned with us and the fact that a win would get us to 8-4 and probably to a better bowl game this year," said Tommy Sharpe when asked about keeping South Carolina out of a bowl game for the second consecutive year. "It would also make us feel better about the season and it would help us out with recruiting for next year."


Tommy, how important is this game to you? Can you guys still have a successful season without a win?
Sharpe: To me, the South Carolina game is a total season in itself. You have to come out and play like its the first and last game of the season. Like Coach Bowden said, you are going to hear about this game for the rest of the year, and for the seniors, for the rest of your life. And even Coach Scott said even when he was at South Carolina that he got some of their former players to come in, and no matter how successful those guys were in life, the one thing they always seem to come back and talk about is the Clemson - South Carolina football game.

Looking at the South Carolina defense, is there anything you see from them up front that's going to give this offensive line some problems on Saturday?
Sharpe: They have an aggressive defensive line, they play hard, and they play low. Their defensive line coach, Coach Lounsberry, was actually a coach at my former high school, and really, he is the most successful coach my high school has ever seen. So I know those guys will be ready, and they'll attack low, and be aggressive. This late in the season, you've pretty much seen every look you're going to see. So it's not like we'll see anything different, we've just got to execute, and that's the focus this week. We have to execute.

Does the fact that you have the opportunity to keep South Carolina out of a bowl game, and also insure that they have a losing record for the second consecutive season serve as a motivating factor for this team?
Sharpe: I don't think I would put it quite like that. We are more concerned with us and the fact that a win would get us to 8-4 and probably to a better bowl game this year. It would also make us feel better about the season and it would help us out with recruiting for next year.

I've asked this of almost every player I've talked to the last two weeks...do you have a preference when it comes to bowl games this year?
Sharpe: Well, I'd have to say the Gator, because that means you were the selection from the ACC. But if the Peach Bowl were to take the second selection, I'd love to go there and play another team from the SEC. Somebody like Auburn, or Florida, or maybe Ole Miss. I'd like to see Eli Manning play.

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