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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Live blogging the SEC championship game coaches teleconference

South Carolina's Steve Spurrier and Auburn's Gene Chizik spoke today on the SEC championship game coaches teleconference.

Here's what Chizik had to say:
  • "South Carolina is probably playing the best football it has played all year."
  • Chizik not answering questions about Cam Newton's off-the-field issues. Also not talking about coaching rumors for his assistants. Lots of restrictions this week. Is he a football coach or a CIA agent?
  • On the defense turning things around, said Ted Roof does a good job of making halftime adjustments. Also, "the consistency of what we're trying to do has not always been there entirely on defense. A lot of times that's why you're seeing a tale of two halves."
  • On Alshon Jeffery: "I don't think there's any question: he's playing as confident football right now as anyone in America. ... Earlier in the year, I think everyone knew he was one of the best in America. But he's gotten better." Said the QB-WR connection has gotten better as the year has gone on. "It's a tall order to stop this one."
  • On confidence: "I think our team is confident all the time. We just need to obviously execute earlier in the football game. We can't start that slow."
  • On Darvin Adams' arm, which he was apparently shaking during the Alabama game: "He's doing fine."
  • On the team not panicking after falling behind early: "We tell them every week there are storms that you have to weather every week."
  • "I've never been around a group of guys who have that resolve."
  • On facing Spurrier: "I think he's a tremendous football coach, there's no question. He's one of the coaches who are going to be considered one of the great ones of all time."
  • Said the first thing you do at halftime while making adjustments is simplifying things. "Usually they're very minor, but again, the devil's in the details."
  • On playing teams twice in the same season: "It's a little bit of a different dynamic. When you haven't played anybody before, you have your best educated guess" on how a team is going to play you. "You're not going to have wholehearted changes anywhere on your team, because obviously you've done something good enough to get you to the championship game." Said you can narrow down the subtle things that you can do.
  • On the players thinking there's an advantage in already having beaten South Carolina: "I'm hoping it doesn't. This is a brand new team. That was eight or nine weeks ago."
  • RB Onterio McCalebb limped off the field apparently. Chizik said he's fine.
  • On South Carolina's improvements: "They're running the ball extremely physical now. Not that they weren't before, but you can just tell when they make improvements."
  • Also said the timing between QB Stephen Garcia and the receivers is good. Also praised the defense. A more succinct answer would have been: "Everything."
  • On stopping Marcus Lattimore and Alshon Jeffery: "I don't know if you can completely stop both of them. That's a phenomenal 1-2 punch." Said you need to do a mix of things to slow both. "And that's still a tall order."
  • On playing in a dome and noise: "You really deal with that on the road week-in and week-out anyways."
  • On when he knew Newton would be special: Chizik cited the long touchdown run he had in the first game against Arkansas State. "When he broke those big runs early in the year, we said, 'Wow, he's definitely got the ability to improvise.'" Said the Clemson game he showed how good of a passer he could be.
  • On Newton: "He's maintained his focus just the way he did in every football game this week and was able to prepare the same every week."
  • On what he thought he'd get out of Mike Dyer this year: "You never know how the tailbacks are going to respond, simply because there's so many more things than running the football that they have to do." Thought he would get playing time and get better as the year went on. "Didn't have any preconceived number of plays that he would play, but we thought if he continued to improve, he could be a contributor in our running game. And he's done that."
  • "He needs to be that guy who can run in between the tackles from that tailback spot."
  • Said teams are squeezing more people into the box to stop Auburn's QB running game. "I think that's everybody's idea going in when it comes to stopping the run game. That's what we're seeing from most games."
  • On the big stage of the SEC championship game: "This is a little different feel, because everybody else is watching. It's a unique feel."
  • "The good thing for us is the environment we'll go into is going to be the same as we play in every week, home or away."
Spurrier was up first. Here's what he said:
  • "Our team has played very well the past three games, probably about as well as we've played all year."
  • "I really respect what they've done this year. I wouldn't say the surprise team, but they have been one of the best teams in the country, if not the best team, the first 12 games."
  • On the improvement since the first Auburn game: "I think the biggest improvement we made is pass defense. That's what certainly has given us a chance to win." Also said special teams play.
  • On if he thought making title game was possible at SC: "That was our goal here at South Carolina: to be there and win the game there. And obviously it still is our goal. We didn't think we had the team until maybe this year."
  • On backing the SEC championship game: "This game has helped more teams than it has hurt in the SEC. ... This is like a tournament right here." Said every team has a chance. "It's clear what you have to do. You don't have to worry about people voting, you don't have to worry about your schedule. I think it gives every team hope to have a championship year when you can play for your conference championship."
  • On the haters who said he'd never make it to an SEC title game: "That was probably a fair assessment when you look at the history of South Carolina football." Told his wife in 2004: "Let's go to South Carolina and do some things that hadn't been done before."
  • On Lattimore: "We didn't know he could carry the team in several big games like he's done this year. ... He's just a total tailback. He can do it all. He does everything you ask. When your star players are really good teammates, you have a chance to achieve a lot as a team."
  • On Newton running past two SC defensive backs as they ran into each other on a touchdown run earlier this year: "We're telling our DBs, play your angles now. Then we found out he's doing that to everyone."
  • On Gus Malzahn: "Gus and probably the guy in Oregon, Chip Kelly, are probably the guys that coach that spread offense the best in the country. They probably know it better than anybody in the country."
  • On playing a team twice in the same season: "Your game plan might be a little different, certainly, but generally we all do what we have to do to win games."
  • On Auburn's defense: "I think their defense rises to the occasion when they need to. ... They're 12-0, so they've done a very good job on getting stops when they need to win the game."
  • On Newton facing distractions: "He acts like he doesn't read the newspapers or hear anything about it."
  • On Newton being Heisman worthy: "Certainly. I think he's the most dynamic player in college ball this year."
  • "Hopefully our defense is better now than we were earlier in the season."
  • On facing the hurry up: "You've just got to be ready. And offensively we need to be out there as well. I think that slows down those hurry-up teams."
  • On the first meeting: "We had our chances. With the turnovers, we didn't have our best game."
  • More on Lattimore: didn't play him in the first game because he didn't want to make it look like he promised him he'd start if he signed. Georgia game was next, had 37 carries for 180+ yards. "That's when we noticed he was breaking tackles all over the place, falling forward. That's when we realized we had a special player."
  • On playing in the dome: "We've talked about being on the big stage of college football. Our guys get a twinkle in their eye when you say that. ... I told them the other night, now we're going on to the biggest stage in college football in the south in the SEC championship game. And our guys have played well in that atmosphere.""
  • Said there's no difference on playing in a dome: "Once the game kicks in, it's still running and passing and tackling."
  • On Jeffery, said he's not a quick-step guy like he had at Florida. "What he does so well is when it hits his hands, it sticks. Very seldom is there a breakup pass when he and the defender go for the ball.'
  • On Garcia: "He's matured into a very good quarterback. Stephen's a player who has learned through experience and it's just now coming to him how to play the game." Said he throws the ball away now instead of taking sacks. "He can player better, but he's been very productive and very smart with the ball."
  • Garcia got hit on the hand last week. Spurrier said he probably won't do much early this week. Expects him to play.

16 comments:

Tar Heel Tiger said...

AB = Awesome Blogger

your middle name Live?

Anonymous said...

Can anyone take a picture of those two coaches without it being slanted? Does Saban have that in his contract that in all photos he much look taller than the opposing coach? :-)

Aubiester said...

For the love of everything AUBURN AND CAM CANNOT AND WILL NOT TALK ABOUT THE NCAA CRAP. IT'S NOT ALLOWED. And frankly it's old and it's all a bunch of unproven crap coming from lying Rogers.

AUsome04 said...

"Lots of restrictions this week. Is he a football coach or a CIA agent?"

I can answer that. He's a football coach. (Translation: He's not there to hold some mansy pansy reporter's hand. He's here to talk about one of the biggest FOOTBALL games in Auburn history coming up this week).

Spurrier's comments about Newton not paying attention to newspapers was spot-on. This whole Cam-Gate thing has been a smear campaign to damage our most significant season to date. I would be surprised if the organization that just got beat 28 - 27 didn't have something to do with it.

James said...

Great job as always Andy, I don't believe you are gonna be with us much longer at Auburn for Cols/PC news.

But come on buddy, do you really expect Chiz to say anything about Newton or assistants leaving? Why would Chiz give more fuel to media for even more distractions? What will be interesting is after Saturday, how Chiz handles the "no comment" line when there is a month till a bowl game.

Andy Bitter said...

He may not be able to talk about the investigation. But he can talk about how Cam has gone about his business.

This "I'm not talking about anything I don't want to" line of thinking is getting tiresome.

Anonymous said...

While I know we'd all like to know, with certainty, what is going on, Chiz is doing the right thing by the team. It has certainly worked well thus far, so I hope he rides in until the wheels fall off.

CHEF D said...

He's winning games and handling business. Thats all were concerned about. We could give a flip about that off the field BS right now. WAR EAGLE! Leave the guy along.

War Eagle AC-47 said...

Andy, in Chizik's defense of "no comment," imagine someone started a rumor about you that was untrue. It picked up steam because you were in line to get an important promotion. But now, every time you step in front of the microphone, instead of talking about the body of your work, all they keep asking you about is to explain or give background information concerning what you know to be a completely baseless rumor.

No matter what you say, they'll spin it in a manner that is unflattering to you. The explanation is never enough. There will still be questions. The rumor has become the story at the exclusion of the promotion and your good works which warranted your consideration of the position.

After awhile, "no comment" is the easist way to deal with it.

CHB said...

I like your stuff Andy, but the getting upset because he won't comment on things other than the current game or the next game is silly. I understand its part of your job to ask those questions, but its also part of Chizik's job to stay focused on what is important. Right now "Camgate" and coaches leaving is not important. He spoke on the Cam situation few weeks ago and he has also commented on coaches getting other jobs. I don't think he needs to answer those same questions every time he is in front of a media member. He and Auburn needs to be focused on the SECCG. That is it....period.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't you have used this photo that is not tilted to make S look taller than Coach Chizik? :o)

http://scores.espn.go.com/ncf/photos?gameId=303300333&photoId=980406#photo_980406

Anonymous said...

AB,

No offense, but I think the truth is people are tired of the media trying to glorify every tidbit of worthless information.
You can blame some of your less than professional media associates for the lack of any real responses. I don't blame Chizik at all.

rashid1891 said...

This "I'm not talking about anything I don't want to" line of thinking is getting tiresome.

muhammadrazzaq50 said...
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Damien said...
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jeeversmeever said...
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