Spurrier: Gamecocks Trying To Earn Respect

Coach Steve Spurrier spoke with media today after USC's fall sports media golf outing, where he addressed a wide variety of topics concerning this year's Gamecock football team as the 2010 season fast approaches. Spurrier covered many aspects of the football program and gave a glimpse into his thoughts as they prepare for the upcoming season.

For the most part, the Ole Ball Coach seemed to be in a pretty good mood today, except for the admitted fact that the bowl game loss to UCONN has left a bitter taste in his and the team's mouth and they are looking to avenge that awful performance in a big way.

Gamecock Anthem was on hand to cover Coach Spurrier's remarks in their entirety and have organized his thoughts pertaining to the following topics.

The State of The Football Program
"The state of our football program right now is we're not very good, because we got clobbered in the Papa John's Bowl by UCONN. Sometimes I'm asked why our tickets sales are not quite where we hoped they would be, and I say well our fans remember the UCONN game and I remember the UCONN game, and we weren't very good. And don't tell us to forget it because we're not going to forget it. We're going to try our best to never ever have a performance like that again. That's what we are going to try to do. We've got a different team. We have different leaders, different players, it's going to be a new team. We think our guys will really compete, but until we do it we're all just in the process of trying to earn respect of not only our fans, but fans all over the country. We need to go out and earn it.

Talented Depth
"We do have a lot of players ready to play this year, a lot of players. We do not have to live with one or two guys if they don't play very well. We've got back up guys ready to go play, and I think most all of them really want to play like the coaches coach them to play."

"Our facility improvement has really kicked in. Eric Hyman and his staff have done a super job. I think it's interesting the other day an offensive lineman from Georgia, I can't use his name, came in and said our facilities were the best of all the schools he had visited. He said they were beautiful. The Dodie, the locker room, the weight room, the meeting rooms, everything related to football he said was the best and he'd been around to a lot of the schools in the South. So that says something that has probably never been said about the University of South Carolina; their facilities are the best. Right there at the best of any in the country."

Improved Recruiting
"We believe our recruiting has certainly picked up. Marcus Lattimore could have gone anywhere in the country. He didn't come here to be mediocre, to go 7-6 his career here. He's come here hopefully to win a championship, he and Stephon Gilmore, Alshon Jeffery, all those guys. We've got a lot of good players, especially in state players now who used to leave the state."

The Offensive Line
"We could start four seniors on the offensive line. That's something that hasn't happened since I've been here. We're excited about some freshman lineman who could play this year: AJ Cann, Ronald Patrick, and Tramell Williams. Those three physically look like they're ready to play. So don't be surprised if a freshman offensive lineman plays for us this year."

Who's The Starting Running Back Right Now
"Kenny Miles will probably be the first starting tailback. As you know he averaged over 5 yards per carry last year (5.2)."

What Is The Strength Of The Team
"Defensively, again will probably be the strength of the team. I think the strength of our defense is where you want it, the defensive line. Travian Robertson, Ladi Ajiboye, Cliff Matthews, Devin Taylor. And the linebackers, the linebackers are solid in there too. Shaq Wilson, Rodney Paulk's back, Demario Jeffery is a freshman kid that had a wonderful summer. Then of course the secondary guys, Stephon, Akeem, Chris Culliver is going to move to corner. Chris is an excellent man to man type player. We all think that's a good move to move, moving him to corner and moving Akeem back to safety."

Garcia Or Shaw?
"Our quarterback Stephen (Garcia) says he's ready to play his best. Again, if Stephen struggles, Connor Shaw will be next in line. Both those guys have been here since January and they've taken a lot of snaps."

To The Fans
"If you're a Gamecock fan who can't get that Papa John bowl out of your mind and out of yourself then I'm with you. I can't get it out of me either. So until we got out and play like a tough, physical, disciplined football team, maybe that's what we have to do to get some of those fans back. That's okay; I'd be ticked off if I were you also because that was a sad day in Birmingham. So we know where we are and what we need to do and we intend to start doing it September 2nd when we play Southern Miss."

Who Were The Summer Leaders
"Patrick Dimarco, Cliff Matthews, Travian Robertson, Ladi Ajiboye, the senior guys, which is who it should be. I believe our older guys have taken ownership of the team."

A little Bit Of Everything On Offense
"We'll do a little no huddle; we'll do a little huddle. We'll do some shotgun, and we'll do some underneath. I don't know what we do best yet. We need to find out what we can do the best, but I think there is place for all of it."

Stephon Gilmore At Wide Receiver?
"Stephon Gilmore may play WR. We haven't told Coach Ward that yet but he may be out there at wide-out as well as wildcat shotgun quarterback."

Coach Spurrier Has Options On Offense This Year
"We've got several guys wanting to carry the ball; we've got a lot of receivers out there that want passes coming their way, and only one football out there. So our players have got to be good team players. They need to understand that one game they might not get a whole bunch, and then maybe three or four games later it will be their time to be the star player. Hopefully we will have team players that think team in everything they do."

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