Syvelle Newton: Vandy Post Game

Quarterback Syvelle Newton led the Gamecocks to their fifth consecutive SEC road victory on Saturday afternoon against the Vanderbilt Commodores, and the versatile playmaker threw for 133 yards and 2 touchdowns and ran for another 40 yards and 1 touchdown on the day. caught up with Newton after the game, and he shared his thoughts on the Gamecocks performance.

Question: Was this game any sweeter for you considering that you were injured against Vanderbilt last season?

Answer: We were fortunate we got the chance to get a win on the road, and it feels great. What happened last year was last year.

Question: Can you talk about why this team has been so good on the road recently?

Answer: When you go on the road, you've just got to prepare harder the whole week and be more disciplined. You're going to get some bad things that'll happen. The other team has the momentum at their place, and you've just got to know how to react to it.

Question: Can you talk about all the guys that contributed on offense today?

Answer: Yeah, I think Cory (Boyd) went over 100 (yards), and Mike Davis came in and got a lot of good runs. Sidney (Rice) had a great game. Kenny McKinley, he's always just sneaky. He's like a silent part of the offense, but he comes out when he comes out. We've got to get a lot more guys involved. We've got a lot of players that haven't really gotten going. Noah Whiteside still hasn't really shown what he can do, and we've got a lot of other players. The offensive line is just coming around great. The first drive was kind of shaky, but other than that, we kind of scored together.

Question: When Vanderbilt got to within 17-13 and you answered back with a touchdown drive, did you make a conscious effort to get the ball more to Sidney Rice?

Answer: No, the only thing I was thinking was to get back into the game and try to keep myself focused. When the coach called the play, I saw the one-on-one, and anytime you've got one-on-one with Sidney, that's kind of hard for a defensive back.

Question: Can you talk about the play where you ran for the touchdown?

Answer: Well, actually I took a nice little lick at the end of the touchdown run. I got up, and the guys wanted to celebrate. I'm trying to get to the bench and sit down, because I was kind of shook after that. The line made a great block, Cory (Boyd) led me in there, and I barely got in there.

Question: Are you getting more comfortable at the quarterback spot as time goes on?

Answer: I'm still learning (Coach Spurrier's) system. We kind of mix it up every week, and Coach Spurrier is a great coach. He's great one-on-one. For the head coach, he's great one-on-one showing me and Blake (Mitchell) and the other quarterbacks. He's still patient with even Chris Smelley, and he's redshirting. Coach Spurrier's a great quarterback coach, and I never had the quarterback coaching that I'm getting right now. If I would have had last year to learn the system more, I probably could be more polished back there, but right now I'm just playing off of pure athleticism and doing whatever I can to help the team out.

Question: Is this the kind of game that you feel you have to win in order to get where you want to be as a team and to compete against the upper echelon teams in the SEC?

Answer: Vanderbilt beat Georgia last week. In the SEC, there's really no easy game, especially when you're playing on the road. When you're in the SEC, you've just got to be prepared to play a hard team every week. If I'm not mistaken, I think we've got four more teams to play in the top 25, so the rest of this schedule is not going to be easy. We've got to go play hard every game… We've just got to be prepared every week in and out to play football.

Question: Did Vanderbilt's win over Georgia change the way you approached Vanderbilt at all?

Answer: No, I knew Coach (Bobby) Johnson's a great coach. I got to see him at the beginning of the game. Vanderbilt is recruiting. Once they get a couple more players here and there to support the others players they have now, there's no telling what Vanderbilt can do. I was just a couple decisions from my family from going to Vanderbilt, so I knew they're a good team. Probably the next two or three years, there's no telling. Vanderbilt might be on top of the SEC.

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