Syvelle Newton Primed For National Spotlight

South Carolina senior quarterback Syvelle Newton is no rookie when it comes to big games. In fact, it would be hard to find a player who enjoys playing in the national spotlight more than Newton. On Tuesday afternoon, however, Newton stated that he is treating the Gamecocks upcoming showdown with Tennessee the same as any other big game, but preparation this week is key. Read inside for more.



Question: You're going to be featured in the national spotlight once again on Saturday. Can you talk about what this game means?

Answer: Once again we get a chance to go out and show everybody that we can play. We're pretty sure Tennessee's going to come in here and be trying to do the same thing we're trying to do, win.

Question: Does having Gameday here get you guys pumped up a little bit more than usual?

Answer: Whenever you're asked to play on national TV, you go out and you might put a little more effort or play harder, because your better performance might be on that night. Sometimes you don't have such great performances on national TV, so it can be good for us or it could be in a bad way.

Question: Is there a different buzz around the team this week with all of the hype around this game?

Answer: They said something about it yesterday in a meeting before we went out to practice. Nobody said anything about our practice, we basically just went out and had a regular practice. It's cold, so we're worrying more about the cold weather than being on national TV. We've just got to get prepared to play football, whether it's on TV or not on TV.

Question: What do you think about Tennessee coming in here with the revenge factor after you guys beat them last season?

Answer: Actually, I watched the game from my room last year. That was the game after I had got injured. I wasn't part of that, so they don't have any revenge on me (laughs). We know they're going to come in and play. Every team in the SEC-East right now is going out and just trying to beat up on each other, so they're going to come in here and try to beat up on us.

Question: Last year you said that the guys won the Tennessee game for you. Do you look at this game as your opportunity to help win one for them?

Answer: It's not me going out and trying to do more than I'm supposed to do. I'm not trying to go out and be a hero in this game. I'm just going to go out and perform like I'm going to practice all week. I'll just stay within the game plan, and whatever Coach Spurrier wants us to do this week, that's the way I'm going to go out and operate the offense.

Question: How much better are you as a quarterback now compared to the Auburn game where you still almost played well enough to win?

Answer: I think I'm getting more comfortable with staying in the pocket, instead of just running out every time. We've just got to get prepared for a tough defense that's going to come in, because they have a great secondary. They've got a new front seven, and we're pretty sure they've had a chance to mature in the SEC. They're playing one of my buddies, Robert Ayers. He's playing second string, so I'm pretty sure he's going to try his best to try to get my number.

Question: Since you missed the second half run last season and fell just short against Auburn this year, does part of you want to go out there and show people that you can beat one of these top teams?

Answer: Like I said, every time we get a win in the SEC, that's a big win. Tennessee, they're a great team. We've just got to go out and play our best game, because the Auburn game we fell one play short here and there. We could have won that game, and we've just got to go out and not have any mistakes against Tennessee, because they've only lost one game, and we're pretty sure that they're going to be fighters when they come in here.

Question: Is this Tennessee defense just as tough and physical as always?

Answer: My last time playing against Tennessee, I was at quarterback when Coach Holtz was here. They were real good. There's no telling how many people off their defense went to the NFL, so we already know what their defenses have been like in the past. We're pretty sure that they've got some good guys in there, and they're going to go out and play hard, just like we're going to go out and play hard, so we've just got to get prepared.

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