Mike West: Friends With The Enemy

Wide receiver Mike West has struggled with a nagging hamstring injury for the first four weeks of the 2006 season, but he is hoping to return for the Auburn game on Thursday night so he can compete against a couple of good friends, who play for the #2 ranked Tigers. GamecockAnthem.com caught up with West on Monday, and he talked about his injury situation, his Auburn friends, and much more.

Question: Are you healthy this week?

Answer: Hopefully, I'll find out today. We've got practice today, and I'll find out.

Question: Has it been that same hamstring that's been bothering you?

Answer: Yeah, it's the same one. I just tweaked it up again. Hopefully I'll be out there this week.

Question: When did you tweak your hamstring again?

Answer: It was two weeks ago Monday.

Question: What's the mood of the team this week with #2 Auburn coming into town?

Answer: It's the #2 team in America coming in. We're just trying to shock the world and make history by beating the #2 team.

Question: This program has been looking for a landmark victory like this. Can you talk about what a win like this could do for the South Carolina program?

Answer: Hopefully it'd take us in the top 25. That'd be something nice here. It'd keep us open in the (race for) the SEC Championship with Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee. We've still got those guys. Hopefully it'll keep us open.

Question: Does the team think right now that you have a good chance of pulling this off?

Answer: It's just another game, really. We've got to practice hard and go out there and compete every play.

Question: What signs have you seen from this team that let's you believe you have a chance against Auburn, especially after last year‘s 48-7 loss?

Answer: I guess getting back at them. We'll try to put 40 points on them. We'll just try to make it a good game and hopefully come out with a win.

Question: Have you guys talked about the revenge factor for what happened last year?

Answer: No, we just kind of put it behind us. This is another SEC team. We're just trying to win it.

Question: The team is looking for other receivers to complement Sidney Rice, do you think the door is open for you to be that #2 receiver?

Answer: If I wouldn't have gotten hurt, I probably would have had a chance, but I've got to get healthy and get back out there. Right now it's probably Kenny McKinley.

Question: How much did the Florida Atlantic game help the confidence of the offense?

Answer: We moved the ball pretty good. A lot of guys stepped up, and a lot of guys played, so hopefully we can do it some more this week.

Question: Has Syvelle Newton impressed you with what he's been able to do at quarterback?

Answer: No, I already knew what he could do, really. He can throw the ball and run the ball. He's a great quarterback and a great athlete.

Question: You've seen Sidney Rice do a lot of great things over the last two years. Where would you rank that performance on Saturday?

Answer: Five touchdowns, that's history. That's big time. It's probably the best I've ever seen.

Question: Do you know any of the Auburn players?

Answer: Two of the cornerbacks are my former teammates. David Irons and Jonathan Wilhite. I played with those guys in Junior College at Butler. I'm best friends, great friends (with them). I know them very well.

Question: How do you think David Irons will match up with Sidney Rice on Thursday?

Answer: He's going to talk a lot. He's going to try and get in Sidney's head. I know how he is, he's going to try to bring him down to his level. It's going to be a good match up between those two.

Question: Have you talked with Sidney about what to expect from Irons?

Answer: No, not really. I talked to David (Irons), and he already told me what he was going to do. He's going to try and get in his head a little bit. It's going to be a good match up.

Question: Has David Irons said what his brother, Kenny, is going to do on Thursday?

Answer: He made a little comment about our defense. He said 200 (yards), that's what he said. Hopefully we can stop him here.

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