Nathan Pepper: Vandy Post Game

Sophomore defensive tackle Nathan Pepper has been the rock of South Carolina's interior defensive front this season, especially after the loss of Marque Hall to injury. The athletic lineman had another solid performance against Vanderbilt on Saturday, including a fumble recovery that he returned 37 yards in the closing minutes of the game. Pepper talked about Carolina's victory after the game.

Question: How good did it feel to finally put a team away today?

Answer: It was a great feeling, because other weeks that we played we kept letting teams stay in it with us and keeping the score close. So it felt real good being able to play a team and just put them out of it.

Question: Do you think this is the best overall game this team has played this season?

Answer: As far as team wise, I've got to say this is probably the best game we've played all together. A win is a win, so we'll just take all the wins as they come.

Question: What were you guys able to do today that Georgia didn't do last week?

Answer: From watching the Georgia game, we felt there were a lot of times where those guys weren't real focused, because we saw them jumping offsides a lot and getting a lot of hidden yardage. We tried to key on not giving them too much yardage on penalties and things like that. We just tried to focus.

Question: With five straight SEC roads wins now, does this team expect to win on the road?

Answer: We just try to keep in our minds to come and play our hardest on the road because we're gonna need it. It's real hostile playing without your home crowd, so you've got to come out and just play hard.

Question: Does the team's focus seem to increase when you go on the road?

Answer: It's almost forcing us to focus more, because (at home) it's not a loud crowd when our defense is on the field. It's a little quieter for us to be able to focus more. Being on the road, you've got to have your defense out there, and we just put a real strain on that.

Question: There was a large contingent of Gamecock fans here today. Was the team conscious of that?

Answer: Oh yeah, I recognized the crowd. It was like our crowd was more into it than the home crowd. That's a big thing for us to have that strength in the crowd on the road too, so that's real good for us.

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