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Barry Odom's week four press conference


Barry Odom met the media on Tuesday to talk about the Tigers as they prepare for a matchup with South Carolina. Click on the player below to listen to the press conference or read the complete transcript below.

Opening Statement

"Happy our team got the win on Saturday, in the way that they did, and I think we've made progress from week to week. And in really in all three phases, we've made progress. So that is a good thing, we've got to get a lot better. No new injuries to to even comment on which is good at this point in the year, so that's good to keep that trend going. And then I would again like to say thanks to the energy of the fans. The environment was it as much as you know, your kids are really excited about it, you can feel it again, you can feel the energy. And so that was a great setting. And now it's on to South Carolina. We've got much, much much respect for Will and the things that he's done over his career in coaching, but also the program that he's developed and built at South Carolina. And the way his teams play, they play, you know, they got great skill. They play with great toughness, great schemes. And, you know, they're really, really talented in a lot of areas. So we've got our work cut out for us, excited to play at home again. And obviously it's a huge game to open up SEC play with."

Yasir Durant left with the neck injury and then Trajan Jeffcoat, what is their status?

"Yasir will play. He will start and we'll play well. And Trajan will get another check here midweek."

How much different is South Carolina with Ryan Hilinski at quarterback?

"I've been trying to search and look for the big differences I see. And I don't really see them. You know, a lot of a lot of respect for you know, both of the quarterbacks that they played this year. And I don't see that they've missed a beat. He's a super talented kid. We knew about him in high school, obviously, and then, you know, to be put into that moment. He doesn't look rattled at all, they've played really well around him and been able to run the ball to balance that, about 250 rushing and 250 passing."

They've been able to run the ball pretty well with Rico Dowdle. What have you seen that has allowed them to do that?

"They block up front really well. Their offensive line did a heck of a job. You know, they they ran extremely well, solid tough runs. They did a lot of things on how they attacked them, but also, you know, the simplistic approach of how they did it was impressive to watch. So we've got to make sure that somehow some way we combat that at the line of scrimmage and try to control it. And also we got to be great tacklers because they run so physical not just Rico, but all of them."

You mentioned on Saturday that Richaud Floyd was a really good teammate. What are some of the things that make him such a good influence in the locker room?

"He's selfless. You know he changed positions and embraced that. He works really hard, is a good voice, he's mature and you know now his play is kind of backing up the work that he's put in."

What does it say about him how willing he has been to accept a special teams role?

"You look at the game, we played 40 snaps on special teams. So if somebody is not really interested in special teams, it's gonna be hard to play here. You know, you look at all the players that we had on last year's roster. Our 2018 roster one guy out of the entire roster made an NFL team and that was your quarterback. And the other guys just couple guys on practice squad, nobody made the active roster so how important special teams is not only for the current, the right here and the right now, but guys, I want everybody to dream and aspire to go play at the next level but you better be really good on special teams. So I think the quicker the guys can get that mindset that it's another phase of the game, just like offense, defense, that makes us a lot better in that area."

With the battle of Columbia and there being a trophy for this game, does that mean any extra to you this week?

"What am I supposed to say? I mean it's a conference game and you know I got a lot of respect for the program and for Will and we want to win. You know it's been a contested close battle since I've been here in 15. You feel like you're in the game, they pulled away. You know last year was back and forth throughout the entire course of the game and you know hopefully we can get it into the fourth quarter and find a way to prepare well enough to get themselves in that position to go win."

What did you learn from the game against them last year?

"Bring an umbrella. Always understand, don't trust the weather forecasts. And then you got to make plays down the stretch. You calculate for the plays that always come up and and you know determine the outcome of the game they made more than we did."

I know one year doesn't have any impact on the next but when you look at these past three games with them is it is there any common place where you look and say that's that's an area we kind of fell short?

"Collectively they made more plauys than we have, you know, at the end of the day. Last year with the long field goal we put ourselves in position to win it, gave up a play down the seam late on defense. Turnover margin is always going to be a huge factor in this game. And then the ability when you get down in the red area to be able to come up with touchdowns. You know there's times that we got down there we had to settle for field goals and they didn't. They scored"

There's rain maybe in the forecast again on Saturday

"I'm sure there is."

Is that something you guys look at and prepare for?

"You bet. We do. Every Thursday we put a heavy emphasis on, you know we may have five gallon buckets of water out there, wet ball drills do all the things. We had a number, two or three practices I guess, in fall camp it was rainy out so we got a little work there. But also it's the focus and the determination and the grittiness and the toughness to handle whatever the adversities are."

The last couple of years you haven't made many changes at all on the offensive line. How rare is that consistency?

"Well I think right now we've got seven guys that we feel like can help us go win/ And those seven are going to continue to play and at some point one of those guys in either of the spots will kind of take the lead and go run with it. But as o right now, Case (Cook) and Larry (Borom) both are still battling and Hyrin (White) and Bobby (Lawrence) at the tackle spot, but I think it's important that if we can get to the to the ability and the level that you feel like you can play seven or eight as anything that's beneficial down the stretch. I'd rather one of them step up and say I'm the guy and take it but also we're positioning both on the front pretty well."

What have you thought of Larry Rountree's season so far?

"For three games, I didn't think he played very well week one, week to and week three I think he played really good."

Kobie Whiteside gets about as little attention as anyone on the defense. Is that because of the position he plays or his personality?

"A little bit of both probably. Kobie is productive, he's assignment sound, is always in the right spot. I don't know how much he shows up on the stat sheet but he is really important from a linebacker's eyes. Those guys that you count on being where they're supposed to be and not trying to backdoor block. That's so hugely important to be able to play really, scheme sound football so Kobie's usually right where he's supposed to be."

He's not built like a typical defensive lineman. His coach said he would have had offers from all over if he was taller. How hard is it in recruiting to go in on a guy that might not look like every other guy does?

"You've got to trust what you see and really believe in it and have strong conviction on staying with it. We saw his highlight video and then some game film, we need to proceed because he didn't look very tall. And then in person he's not very tall. But he also plays, he's got a high motor. He's a football smart guy. And he likes to practice, he likes to compete. He's playing really well for us right now."

South Carolina has three guys with an interception and a couple of forced fumbles. What stands out to you about their secondary?

"They're very well coached. They've got a high skill set. And they play long players that cover a lot of space and they're active and run to the ball."

Statistically you have the number two pass defense in the country. Do you feel like this is a week you will learn a little bit more about that part of the game or do you think you already know what you have?

"I think we're, you know, we're three games down, that's what the numbers are. So after this next week, we'll look at it and kind of see again, where we stack up. But more than just about the numbers, how do we play you know? And if we continue to play well, on a high level then our numbers will stay where they are and if they don't, then they'll drop off. But you know, we'll be tested this week about about."

What have you seen from their wide receiver, Bryan Edwards?

"I feel like he and I played against each other, he's been there forever. You know, what a great player and a great competitor and watching him play last week, I mean, he was on a mission and admire and respect the way he plays the game not only when he has the ball in his hands but when the ball's not His competitive spirit and nature, I've got a lot of respect for him. So we got to know where he is and understand that but also accept the challenge and you know, he's one of the best ones you'll see out here.

How much have you seen Kelly develop in the dropback passing game since he's been here?

"He threw the ball vertically at Clemson some. He had some of that that he had on tape. I think he's fine tuned it since he's been here. Also the timing with receivers downfield has been a big part of as well.."."

Has there been an effort from you or from him to limit his running so far or are you happy with the decisions he has made in that regard?

"We were selective the last two weeks on how many times would call a true run. And it was, we know what's coming down the stretch here. You know, we've got some built in as we do every week and you know, it's kind of dependent they take the game plan we have coming in and what we call for goes from there."

Coach Muschamp said he thinks his offensive line is more powerful than it was last year. Do you see those sorts of things on film?

"I would agree with that. It's not my job to compare his team from year to year but just watching them they're really good up front. They ran the ball for however many yards they did last week against Bama you know there's obviously a really really good program and plan structurally there. They're always good on the line of scrimmage. And you know South Carolina had a lot of success and run game last week so you know we got to make sure that we find a way to get an extra hat up there and also trust in each other where everybody is fitting in the right way and then they can tackle."

Where do you think your team is entering SEC play?

"Well, we're focused on the next one and obviously the competition that South Carolina will bring here. They're a really good team and you know they've had a chance now they've got three games under their belt. I know they''ll be ready to play, we will be ready to play and you know it'll be a great environment. Look forward to watching guys go compete.."