Q&A: Spurrier Jr. talks Byrd, Roland, Moore

October 5, 2012 

Co-offensive coordinator Steve Spurrier Jr. directs players during practice Tuesday morning.

JEFF BLAKE — jblake@thestate.com

  • GAMECOCKS VS. BULLDOGS WHO: USC (5-0, 3-0 SEC) vs. Georgia (5-0, 3-0) WHERE: Williams-Brice Stadium WHEN: Saturday, 7 p.m. TV: ESPN RADIO: WNKT-FM 107.5 SATELLITE RADIO: Sirius 91/XM 91 LINE: USC by 2

Is Damiere Byrd starting to show his potential this season?

Damiere’s a talented young man who’s beginning to come into his own. Every time you look at him you wonder if he’s big enough to play, 170-something pounds. He’s a tough, confident young man that’s really got a good future in front of him. I’m excited about him. He’s played well. You’ll continue to see him get his opportunities.

Byrd is listed on the depth chart at the slot behind Bruce Ellingon. Is Byrd playing outside too?

He plays all over the place. People keep asking me about that. Bruce and Ace are the starters. Everybody else are the backups. Damiere has rotated at about every spot. He played all of them last year. He played four positions last year, B, Y Z and X, and S. We put him in there for five. He’s smart, a very intelligent player.

How is Shaq Roland’s progress?

Shaq’s doing well. He’s getting a little better every day. He has an occasional assignment error. He’s doing good. His day is coming. I can’t tell you exactly when it will be, but his day will come when he gets a big opportunity to be a big part of our offense.

Alshon Jeffery broke out the sixth game of his freshman year, and this is Shaq's sixth game.

I wouldn’t say there’s a strong correlation there, but it could be. No. 6 could be the special number. It was amazing how quick it triggered for Alshon. Alshon by Week 6 was ready to go play, and we said let’s go. And it may happen like for that for Shaq. His day is coming. He’s a talented young man that’s got a lot of upside.

How much of a difference is it for Georgia to have Baccari Rambo back in the secondary?

He makes a presence. You see No. 18 flying around back there hitting people so you know where he is. They’re competitive and physical in the secondary, and we know where he is. He’s a good player.

What words of wisdom do you offer D.L. Moore after a drop like he had vs. Kentucky?

D.L. is a guy I’ve continued to really support because I like him. He’s tough, he works hard. He’s on special teams, he blocks. He does a lot more than people give him credit for. Just got to hang in there, hang in there and stay positive. He practices hard, he pratices well. Just keep his opportunities coming and make the most of them when they come.

Are you pleased with how many guys have been involved so far in the passing game?

Sure. I think we’ve had some good numbers, but October will certainly define what kind of team we are and how good of a team we are. Ask me in a month.

Marcus Lattimore has had a lot of success against Georgia. How about the passing game?

It’s funny how games happen. We came out firing against Kentucky and said, you know what, let’s try to box in and start running it. That ended up being certainly the key to the game. Games change as they go. You never know how they’re going to play. If they start doing everything they can to stop the run, we better be able to throw the ball. If they start doing everything they can to make sure we can’t throw the ball very far, we better be able to run it well. You never know exactly how a game will play well.

Is this game personal for the players who are from Georgia?

I’ve never thought that it was a huge deal. It’s a big game. Georgia’s a good team. They’re a big rival right next to us. I think it’s as important to a Florida guy as it is for a Georgia guy. It’s a big game. We’ve got to go play well.

- Compiled by Dwayne McLemore, GoGamecocks

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