Mike Davis: Players angry about loss to Georgia

Gamecocks not happy about loss to Georgia; take aim at Vanderbilt

jkendall@thestate.comSeptember 10, 2013 

South Carolina Gamecocks running back Mike Davis (28) breaks free for a 75 yard run during the third quarter at Sanford Stadium in Athens, GA, Saturday, September 7, 2013.

GERRY MELENDEZ — gmelendez@thestate.com

  • BOUNCING BACK

    USC has lost consecutive regular-season games once in the past three seasons:

    2010

    Loss: Auburn 35, USC 27

    Next week: USC 35, Alabama 21

    Loss: Kentucky 31, USC 28

    Next week: USC 21, Vanderbilt 7

    Loss: Arkansas 41, USC 20

    Next week: USC 36, Florida 14

    2011

    Loss: Auburn 16, USC 13

    Next week: USC 54, Kentucky 3

    Loss: Arkansas 44, USC 28

    Next week: USC 17, Florida 12

    2012

    Loss: LSU 23, USC 21

    Next week: Florida 44, USC 11

    Loss: Florida 44, USC 11

    Next week: USC 38, Tennessee 35

Mike Davis is angry. Nick Jones is worried everyone will think this is the same old South Carolina football team.

Steve Spurrier just wants them looking forward.

“That’s why we have to be careful when we send players into the media room,” the Gamecocks’ coach said Tuesday. “This is a game where we just need to play football.”

That’s not how it feels to South Carolina’s players, Davis said as the players spoke for the first time since last week’s 41-30 loss to Georgia. The No. 13 Gamecocks (1-1) play Vanderbilt (1-1) on Saturday at 7 p.m. in Williams-Brice Stadium.

“I think we are all looking at it as a statement game,” said Davis, a sophomore tailback who is fourth in the SEC in rushing with 132 yards per game. “Everybody is angry, and we want to take it out on someone else. No one is chill. No one is laid back. No one is laughing about it. Some people took it as an embarrassment. We have a lot of people who are angry.”

Instead of allowing their emotion to rise and fall based on outcomes, the Gamecocks should approach every game the same, with a desire to play as well as they possibly can, Spurrier said.

“Every game we play is important,” he said. “We only play 12 regular season games a year. These guys lift weights, run and train year around, basically. I think they have one month a year off. We know how important they all are. We have to have some fun playing this game. The way you have fun is you play your assignment, play with a lot of effort and make some plays. We’re going to see if we can’t do that.

“We’re going to play all of them, hopefully, the best we can.”

The Gamecocks don’t think they did that against the No. 9 Bulldogs.

“It was kind of humbling for us because everybody knows the hype we had, but all our goals are still out there,” junior wide receiver Nick Jones said. “Everybody thinks it’s the old, normal USC. We want to prove everybody wrong.”

In a way, Jones wants to prove himself wrong.

“I felt like this season was going to be the one for us. It still can be the one for us, but I really wanted to go undefeated this year because people always rule Carolina out,” Jones said. “They still are going to rule us out, but we’re going to prove them wrong.”

The first chance to do that comes against a Commodore team that lost to Ole Miss 39-35 in the season-opener and then rebounded with a 38-3 win against Austin Peay.

“As coaches, we all know you have to have the ability to forget what happened last week, whether it’s good or bad,” Spurrier said. “Move on and try to improve as the season goes. This team should improve with all the youngsters we have playing, especially on defense. They should improve. If we can coach worth a flip, we’ll get better and better as we go.”

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