Spurrier previews Ole Miss

South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier met with the media on Tuesday afternoon to preview this weekend's crucial SEC road matchup against the Ole Miss Rebels. Read inside for Spurrier's comments on several topics, including Stephen Garcia potentially starting at quarterback, tailback Bobby Wallace moving up the depth chart and much more.


Opening Statement:

"We are getting ready to go out to Ole Miss. This will be our second daytime game. We're looking forward to playing Ole Miss. Of course they had that big win last week and have a lot of momentum going forward. They've lost two that they had a chance to win. We've had our chances in a couple and didn't pull through. Maybe its two teams evenly matched and we'll go out there and play our best. Houston Nutt has obviously done a good job to get those people excited about football. It will be a full house and their crowd will be alive.

As I mentioned earlier in the week, our defense is number one in the nation. That's pretty neat. Ellis Johnson and our coaches and players have done a super job. They've done an excellent job so far and we'll be tested this week. I know our players will be looking forward to a team that throws and runs.

We're pretty healthy. Kenny McKinley, I don't know if he'll be able to play or not. As far as quarterbacks we'll wait until Thursday to announce who's going to start. Last week if you graded them it would be pretty even. Stephen Garcia played like we thought he would play. He did some good things out of the pocket. Chris Smelley, like I mentioned earlier, was unlucky at times. Second pass down the middle Joe Hills had a chance to catch it but couldn't make the play. We have to keep working at it."

On if quarterback Stephen Garcia may start:

"Probably. He may start. We'll let him practice this week and make a decision. We'll try to put the best one out to help us win the ballgame.

It certainly helps when you have a quarterback that can run out of there. Hopefully Stephen can make good decisions. Good decisions are what separate quarterbacks. He can make the throws. He can make some that Chris isn't comfortable making. We just have to coach the heck out of Stephen. If we can get him not scrambling every play, I think he'll be a great quarterback. For his first time out he played pretty well."

On the offensive line:

"Our guys play pretty similarly week to week it appears. Our pass protection leaks were mostly the tight ends. That's bad coaching. If your tight ends can't block, don't ask them to. Usually tight ends have to block a little bit. We had some mistakes and didn't get a few balls off that I wish we could have."

On the defense:

"Number one in the country. I used to say if we could get one around here in the top half of the conference (we'd be in good position). Now we've got the top in the country. Our defense is solid. They've got good players, they're well-coached and want to play. We're starting to play better teams both offensively and defensively; the personnel is going to be better than the last few weeks."

On Defensive Coordinator Ellis Johnson:

"We all feel fortunate Ellis is here. Our defensive guys are playing very well. They're well-coached. They're doing a super job."

On running back Bobby Wallace:

"I think Bobby has earned a chance to play more. We need to get him out there more... Bobby made some guys miss. He broke tackles and did well."

On red zone offense:

"We weren't very good in the red zone. We got on the one-yard line. I tried to call timeout and we couldn't get one. When I saw Stephen get in there and start checking off, I knew something bad was going to happen. He checked into something and (a lineman) didn't get something."

On SEC race:

"We've lost two Eastern division games but who knows what can happen. We just have to try to play our best and win one game at a time. We don't have to worry about anything else really except to try to beat Ole Miss this week.

We don't need to put any pressure on our guys except to play the best we can. We need to play with confidence and play a little more relaxed."

On Garcia's mobility:

"We've got a few designed runs. Most of the time he just took off. Most of the time it was a smart decision, but he can stick around in (the pocket) sometimes too."


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