Norwood Excited About Facing #2 Ranked Tigers

Defensive end Eric Norwood has gotten off to a stellar start in his freshman season, and despite coming off the bench, he currently leads the defense in sacks, tackles for loss, and quarterback hurries. The Gamecocks will need a big effort from Norwood and the rest of the defense in order to compete with #2 Auburn on Thursday night, but Norwood believes the defense is up to the task.

Question: Has the team gone into any details about the situation that occurred with Kenny Irons a couple years ago?

Answer: No, they really haven't gone into any detail about that situation with Kenny Irons.

Question: What do you think of Irons as a player? Have you watched him on tape?

Answer: Oh yeah, I think he's a great back. I think he's a very good back. I thought he was a good back last year when Auburn recruited me.

Question: How difficult of a challenge will it be to consistently stop Irons on Thursday night?

Answer: It'll be tough. He's a good back. They're going to make plays, so it's just up to us to stop him.

Question: What would upsetting a team like Auburn do for this South Carolina program?

Answer: It would give us a lot of confidence going into this SEC stretch. We'd build on that, and it would help in recruiting also.

Question: Can you talk about the excitement of being a true freshman and getting ready to face off against the #2 team in the country?

Answer: It's very exciting. Playing the #2 team in the country, not everybody gets a chance to do that. Right now we've got a chance to make history.

Question: What's the mindset of the team heading into this game?

Answer: We feel like we can do it going into every game. We never feel like we can't, but this game in particular, we've got a lot more confidence.

Question: What kind of things has Coach Nix been emphasizing to the defense in practice?

Answer: Trying to focus on playing our assignments on every down and playing full speed every down.

Question: What did you learn from playing Georgia, who is a similar team to Auburn in many aspects?

Answer: We feel like we can compete in every game, but in the Georgia game in particular, we could have easily scored 21 or 24 points and won that game.

Question: Last year Auburn beat South Carolina 48-7. Is that game brought up in the locker room, and does that serve as motivation for this year's contest?

Answer: Well, that was last year, but it is brought up from time to time. This is a new season, and we're looking forward to playing Auburn. They're the #2 team in the nation, and we think we can beat them if we just get our assignments in.

Question: You appear to be getting more playing time as the season goes along. Can you talk about your season up to this point?

Answer: Up to this point, I'm just trying to get better, and actually just get better with consistency. I'm trying to do the small things that help the team out.

Question: Is everything at this level what you expected it to be thus far?

Answer: Yes, for the most part. The speed of the game is a lot faster, but for the most part I've enjoyed it.

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