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Post-Game Quotes
The Rivalry
The Record


USC Head Coach Steve Spurrier:

Opening Statement:

"In the end, they put a drive together, they came up (with a good play) on third-and-18. We couldn't stop them. That's the way it happened."

On his run call on third and four with under three minutes remaining
"We just thought we might could run for four yards. That was dumb on my part, because we hadn't run for four yards hardly all night. On the first play (of that drive), Cory (Boyd) did run for 15. They were in soft cover two. They just stopped us. We don't get a lot of movement. We would have made a couple more first downs. We would have had to stay on the field.

"Our punt coverage was excellent. We had a couple of good first and second downs there. But unfortunately, on third-and-18, they hit a 12- or 13-yarder and converted on fourth-and-five. And they hit another one down there. We weren't quite good enough to stop them."

On the punt blocks
"They came up the middle on two of them. I think the upback let a guy come inside, and one of our guys didn't block down inside. That's strange. That hadn't happened to us all year. Fortunately, they only scored on one of them. Other than that, our coverage tonight was pretty good. Our guys were hustling around.

"Fans are super. We're not going to beat them two in a row, because we couldn't stop third-and-18. That's how close a game it was. If we would've made a couple of first downs there at the end, offensively if we could have stayed on the field, but we weren't good enough to do it. We'll see what happens next.

"Blake played pretty well. Opening play, our right guard decided he didn't want to block the defensive tackle. That's got to be some kind of record on the first play of your last two home games go for a turnover.

"We had our chances. Our defense did a lot better. We put them in some bad positions."

On whether he thought about icing the kicker
"I thought about it. I don't really think it makes a whole lot of difference, to tell the truth.

"If we would've stopped third-and-18, we would've won. If we could have got some punts off. We were fortunate. They moved it up and down the field on us all night. Give those guys credit. That's the way it happened. Two times straight at Williams-Brice (versus Clemson), we had a lead in the fourth quarter and couldn't hold it.

"We're just not real good, and we're not coached real well, which is my fault.

"There may be a way we can get a bowl bid. I was proud of our guys and the way they scrapped and clawed. We didn't make enough plays to win the game.

"We maxed out our scoring. We didn't get down there and mess up. When you get just 52 plays, 21 points isn't too bad."

On the fumble
"They ripped it out. They did a good job. That was a good play. We try to teach our guys to rip it out.

"We're building. We're trying to build it up so we will be stronger next year. We have to stop the run game somehow, or we're always going to struggle. If we don't stop the run here, it's going to be a long fall. We've got to do something. We couldn't run up and down the field on Clemson. We got hit behind the line many a time tonight."

WR Dion Lecorn

On mood in the locker room
"It's sad. It's always tough losing a rivalry game like that at any age. It doesn't matter if you're a freshman, sophomore, junior, or a senior."

On the fumble
"I'm not really sure what happened. I wasn't holding the ball too tight. The guy (Phillip Merling) got his hand in there and just popped it out. We have to get over it."

P/PK Ryan Succop

On the blocked punts
"Right now I don't know (what happened). I wasn't paying attention to the rush. I just catch it and kick it. I'll have to wait until Monday to see the film. We've been fortunate because we haven't had anything like that happen all year.

"It's tough to lose a game like this. The seniors played their hearts out. You don't want to see them go out like that. It'll give us some motivation for the off-season to do better next year."

QB Blake Mitchell

"We played our hearts out. We gave all we had. We were down early and defense stepped up and helped. We were fortunate enough to make plays and score touchdowns. We could have done a lot of things better than we did, though.

"We started out on the season decent. What happened, happened. We came out tonight and gave it our best shot, but we fell short. Everything I had was on the field, I played as hard as I could.

"It's tough. It could possibly be the last game I play here. You always want to go out with a win, but it doesn't always happen that way. I personally had some great times here."

TB Cory Boyd

"We went out and played the best game that we felt we could play. Certain things did not go our way. It's sad to see it go this way."

WR Kenny McKinley

"It is a heartbreaker loss. I had hoped that we would finish it out. Hopefully we will next year. I am coming back."

DE Eric Norwood

"We had a much better effort, a team effort. We tried to overcome the turnovers, but we didn't come away with a win. That's tough. It hurts. It is the past and there is nothing we can do about it now. We did give them the chance to win with some of our mistakes, but we also had the chance to win."

Defensive Coordinator Tyrone Nix

"We have to make plays. We have to rise to the occasion to make a play. We didn't do it. Clemson did. We tried to get on the kids to go out there and play hard with effort. We played much better. We showed we can improve. We have to make plays. We have to be play makers."

Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden:

On the similarity to last year's finale
"Nothing of last year's kick (came to mind). The only thing that concerned me was missing two (field goals). That was the only thing that concerned me, but Mark (Buchholz) is a pretty tough guy mentally. He was due. The odds were in his favor after missing two field goals."

On Cullen Harper's season
"He's done that all year. It doesn't surprise me much. I think the job he's done in his first year playing - we lost four offensive linemen from last year's team - I thought he did well."

On the USC-Clemson rivalry
"(Before the game I said) The most important thing is to win the conference championship. It's not so much the rivalry. I must say I lied. I'm just kidding, but it does erase it a little bit."

On a chance to get 10 wins
"With 10 wins, you're looking at double-digit wins. That separates you in an elite group. We have the opportunity."

On Aaron Kelly
"I'm happy for Aaron. I thought he did a good job in the paper (last week) when y'all asked him (about the Boston College game). He did a good job accepting accountability."

On missed opportunities
"You know it will come back to haunt you. A good team, good coaches and good players in a rivalry game, you know it will come back to haunt you."

On the best team Clemson has defeated this season
"(South Carolina) was sixth in the nation (earlier in the season). Boston College was second nation. I put them up there. A team that was sixth in the nation is pretty good."

WR Aaron Kelly

On Buchholz's kick
"It felt great. It felt great that it went through. We worked so hard, and for it to pay off was pretty good."

On redemption from Boston College game
"It's definitely special. It's definitely special that we had the confidence to call my number at the end of the game, especially after what happened last week. It makes me feel good to have that type of confidence. Our defense played well and gave us a lot of opportunities."

QB Cullen Harper

On Aaron Kelly
"He's made plays for us all year. He stepped us for us and made plays. To finish the season off right, that's huge for us."

On coming back at the end
"It's a long game. You just have to keep fighting and never give up. You have to trust in the coaching staff with the plays they have called. You have to trust the receivers and just keep fighting."

RB James Davis

On feelings of a blowout early
"I thought we were going to run away with it early. We just got behind and made a couple of mistakes. We were able to overcome it at the end."

On Buchholz's kick
"I got down on my knees and prayed with the other guys before he even kicked it. I didn't see it, I had my head down. I just waited until the crowd started yelling, and I knew we had it."

On being 2-1 in the USC-Clemson rivalry
"It feels good to be 2-1. I love coming down here and playing these guys. Every time I come down here I have a good game."