Tyrone Nix: FAU Post Game

Defensive Coordinator Tyrone Nix is the mastermind behind the Gamecock defense that is only allowing 11 points per game this season, despite losing ten starters from a year ago. GamecockAnthem.com caught up with Nix after the Gamecocks 45-6 win over Florida Atlantic, and he talked about the defense's performance against the Owls, as well as how they must continue to improve with Auburn up next.

Question: How would you grade the defense's performance tonight?

Answer: We played a little better, but we still have to continue to improve every time we hit the field.

Question: Did that first drive by Florida Atlantic wake the defense up a little bit?

Answer: I don't think it did. I think they came out and outperformed us. I'm waiting to see the film on what happened. I was a little disappointed, because I expected to get off the field a little bit quicker right there, and not by giving up a touchdown. Give them guys credit. They had us schemed pretty good the first couple of plays.

Question: What are your thoughts on the performance of some of the younger players like Eric Norwood, Captain Munnerlyn, and Rodney Paulk?

Answer: Well, that's all we have. You can look at our depth chart, and we don't have an abundance of guys to choose from. The guys that we have and the guys that we sign, we're giving them the opportunity to play, and they're stepping up and making plays.

Question: How was the effort on defense tonight?

Answer: From the sideline it looked good. It looked good, but we're going to grade the film and see. Sometimes you don't see everything from the sideline, but overall it was okay.

Question: Do you believe your defense will have to play a lot better against Auburn on Thursday? Answer: No doubt, we're going to have to play a whole lot better. Every time we hit the field, we're wanting to play better. Today we were just a little bit better than we were last week against Wofford, and we're going to have to play a heck of a lot better when we line up and play against Auburn.

Question: How do you think the defense compares to this time last year?

Answer: Oh man, I can't even remember where we were at last year. Coach (Spurrier) brings up stuff about last year all the time, and I try to forget it. (Laughs) Right now we're 2 of 14 on third downs, and I can't remember doing that last year, so that's a positive.

Question: Was it better playing against a more conventional offense this week?

Answer: I liked that a whole lot better than that offense we saw last week. That's a challenge to us as coaches and players. We have to adjust every week to whatever scheme we're playing. They have to adjust to us as well, and fortunately for us, they were a more conventional offense.

Question: How is Stanley Doughty progressing?

Answer: He's not what we need him to be or what we expect him to be, but he's making the right steps. We're going to continue to work with him, and hopefully he'll be the player we expect him to be.

Question: Did Greg Wright get some more reps because Cody Wells was out with an injury?

Answer: Greg's practiced well, and he's a kid that's limited in a lot of ways, but he plays so hard, and he plays physical. That gave him a chance to get on the field.

Question: Is there any chance we could see some changes in the starting lineup? Specifically, do you think Eric Norwood could break into the starting rotation at some point?

Answer: I don't know. We've got to grade to see who the best guys are. We rotate him in, and he has just as many reps as a starter. Eric (Norwood), Ryan Brown, Jordin Lindsey, and Casper Brinkley all rotate, so if there's fifty plays in the game, they probably all play 25 snaps. He's just the equivalent to a starter to us.

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