Syvelle Newton: Great Teams Find a Way to Win

Senior quarterback Syvelle Newton has propelled the Gamecock offense to new heights this season with his combination of raw quarterback savvy and uncanny scrambling ability, but despite his best efforts, the senior signal-caller has seen the Gamecocks fall just short to top 10 opponents Auburn and Tennessee.

Newton was asked what the team needs to do to finally win against an elite opponent, after coming within a touchdown of then second ranked Auburn and now Tennessee. He pointed out that last year Carolina was winning these tight games. "They [USC] won them last year," he said. "Last year they beat Tennessee. It's not that we can't push ourselves over the hump." However, Newton admitted that, at times, the perceived inability of this team to get those wins can be frustrating. "When you keep coming up so close, you know you can play with those guys. But you keep falling short and at the end of the night you go home and you're like, ‘What's going on? Why can't we beat these guys?' We had our chances against both of them, but we just fell short. Like Coach Spurrier says, the great teams always make that play. In order for us to be great we've got to make those plays that we're supposed to make. We had a couple plays we didn't make and a couple plays where we made mistakes."

On the positive side, Newton thinks that the losses are important as learning tools that make the team better in the long run. "You can't win them all," he said. "You win some you lose some. You've got to know how to take the loss and get ready for the next game. We can't sit here and pout about the loss. The game's over and there's nothing we can do to get those plays back that we had. We've just got to get ready for Arkansas and finish the season out. We've got to get better as a team and go work harder."

The loss to Tennessee ended any chance the Gamecocks had of winning the SEC East. A sign of where the program is right now, Newton was not interested in talking about the division title. "I'm not going to cry about it," he said. "I thought about the SEC Championship, but I thought about it for a split second. I just want to win, just win the rest of the games and see what we can do. I've got four more games left in my college career. I just want to go out and take every game one at a time. I haven't won a bowl game since I've been here. We've got one more game to get bowl eligible, and we need to work on that. I would love to win a bowl game before I leave."

Very few people expected Newton to be playing the final games of his career at quarterback, and Newton is no exception. Newton enjoys just being on the field, but did admit one thing about playing quarterback. "It's painful, don't get me wrong," he said, rubbing his bumps and bruises. "I'm real sore right now. Playing quarterback you get bruised a lot." Newton acknowledged that his ability to escape from trouble also causes him to take more hits. However, he has no plans to turn into a pocket passer anytime soon. "When I feel like the pocket is about to break down, it's just about me getting out doing what I know that I'm able to do. That's what Coach Spurrier said from the beginning: you've got to use your legs."

As his college career enters its final month, Newton is refusing to think too much about his future. "Everybody has their dream of getting to the NFL," Newton said. However, he feels that much of his NFL future is beyond his control. What he cares about now is the final four games of this stage of his life. "I'm just sitting back and relaxing right now, and letting the Lord do his work. However it works for me, whether it's quarterback, receiver, I really can't answer that right now. I've just got to go out and keep playing every game in order to even have a chance of doing that."

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