UK/USC - Post Game Quotes

Coach Brooks, Coach Holtz, and respective players talked to the media following USC's emotional 12-7 comeback victory....

Coach Rich Brooks - Kentucky

"Obviously this was a very, very tough loss. We made almost as many mistakes turning the ball over as we have in the last two weeks. The good news is that we took it away from them as many times. If we'd only done it one more time, it would have been a different outcome."

"The drive we made in the fourth quarter, I thought was probably the best drive we've made all year. We were mixing a little running and a little passing in there, and moved it down the field and scored to take the lead. I thought that both the defense and the fans rose to the challenge there and did a pretty good job until the last drive when [South Carolina] completed a long third-down pass and then obviously the touchdown pass."

"We could have had another situation before when Marcus McClinton gets his first interception and we have the ball in great field position. Then we're three and out and have to punt it deep. If we'd been able to continue what we did on the drive before, get a first down or two, and eat some time off the clock or maybe kick a field goal…the end result is that we didn't take care of either of our last two chances on offense."

"It was a very tough loss. I think we made some progress against what I think is a very good football team. I think we did some pretty good things and hopefully this will carry over and we will be able to pull one of these things out in the next five games."

"I think that a loss is a loss is a loss. It's better than the loss we had last week, but a loss is a loss is a loss. The good news is that I thought we were a more physical football team this week, particularly on the offensive line. I thought our pass protection for the most part was very good. I thought we ran the ball better against what I think is one of the better defenses in the nation. We only got the one touchdown. We had chances in the first half that we didn't capitalize on and you have to give them credit for that. I was hoping that this would be a significant step forward, but we let it slip through our fingers like we had on some games last year."

On Andre Woodson's fumbles…
"I guess I have to coach him better. Obviously it's something that we stress, but those fumbles were very, very costly and we just can't continue to have them if we expect to beat anybody. We can't turn the ball over like that."

On South Carolina's final drive…
"I felt we would stop them. We had a mixture of old and young players on the field and maybe somebody didn't drop quite deep enough on their big third-down conversion. We were not in the position that we should have been in our underneath coverage on that play. There were several other opportunities we had that we didn't quite make the play. I felt our effort was there the whole 60 minutes, there was just some slippage in the last drive."

Ron Hudson, Offensive Coordinator

On Kentucky's 94-yard scoring drive…
"It should have happened earlier. It would have been nice to have more drives like that, but you can't if you don't have the ball."

On Kentucky's offense…
"This offense is one that has to do several different things. We feel like we have to keep people off balance."

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Kentucky Players

#42 Muhammad Abdullah, FS
On South Carolina's offense…
"They got the ball and we tried to stop them from getting in the end zone. They made plays and we didn't."

On Kentucky's offensive momentum…
"We were feeling good. The offense had the ball and we were on the bench not having to worry about anything. We were on the bench just cheering them on."

#13, Gerad Parker, WR
On how the team handled the loss…
"More than anything, we have been here before and seen a lot. We've experienced some games like this for the past four years. As a team, I think we grow and learn when we go through games like this. We just know we have to come back and focus on our work ahead."

On the second half…
"We came out of halftime with a lot of confidence and we played solid. Shane said some good things in the locker room, and we knew we had been moving the football well. The turnovers hurt us in the first half, and that's what we had to correct in the second half."

On next week's game against Auburn
"Everyone knows this will be a tough environment to play in. We are going to get a game plan together and put this game behind us. Our goal is to go in there and make a surprising performance and pull off a big upset."

#5, Arliss Beach, RB
On the game…
"I think this was a positive performance for us, even though we didn't come away with a win. We were very confident in ourselves and we really played together as a team."

On preparing for Auburn…
"We've got to get back on track and focus on next weekend. We can't dwell on the past. We need to keep going and learn from this game and put it behind us.

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South Carolina Head Coach Lou Holtz

"I thought Kentucky played very well. I thought, defensively, we did a good job. They controlled the ball in the second half. I think we had six snaps (actually seven) in the third quarter. We gave them the ball on their 13 (actually 23) to start with and we gave it to them on the seven (actually six) and they went 97 yards (actually 94 yards) or whatever it was. But the first half was three fumbles after we drive down. I mean, all of them on first down and then to lose Syvelle Newton. Then we had a couple of interceptions.

"But I was proud this team found a way to win. Not only did they find a way to win, they believed that they would win. You know, you just can't (have) penalties at the wrong time. I thought Josh Brown kicked the ball well. It was a nice drive at the end of the game to win it."

On the call for passing for the winning touchdown…
"I didn't want to put the pressure all on Josh Brown and say, ‘Okay Josh, it's all up to you.' I wanted to be able to say to Josh, ‘Josh, we tried to score and we couldn't.' It wasn't like, ‘we're just putting it all on you.' The runs that we had were not (for field) position. There was discussion that let's try to put it in field position. My feeling was let's try to score and not put it all on him. But I did ask him (Mike Rathe) don't put the ball in jeopardy. It was a great play by Michael. I want to say this about Michael, he's hung around here and been positive and upbeat. And for him step in there and do that was great for Michael Rathe. I thought our offensive line played very well. I thought they did a nice job up front blocking."

On decision to play Michael Rathe…
"After we threw the interception where we had Cory Boyd open running down the middle and Blake (Mitchell) overthrows him and it was intercepted. That was Skip (Holtz)'s call. I said, ‘Do you want to go with Michael Rathe?' and he said we should. Then I asked him about four times. He was convinced that's what he wanted to do with his experience and maturity and attitude. He's been practicing well. He doesn't have a real good per try average after third and two inches and we didn't make it."

On winning with five turnovers and a fourth string quarterback…
"In my wildest dreams – number four quarterback and six (actually five) turnovers – no (I wouldn't think we would win). The amazing thing is all I preached to this team all week was turnovers. I didn't think our backs practiced – we have to make some adjustments with our backs in practice, there's no doubt about that. If you told me six turnovers and we're going to work our way down to Michael Rathe, I would have mailed it in."

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South Carolina Players

WR #82 Troy Williamson
On the game-winning touchdown reception…
"I was ready for it. When I rolled back, I was open. I knew Michael Rathe was a leader and could come in and score points. I knew Coach Holtz would make the right call. They were in a cover two. I went to the post and rolled back. The back of the end zone was wide open."

On how close he was to the back of the end zone on the game-winning touchdown reception…
"I was very close. I was about as close as I am to this table (indicating the table at which he is sitting)."

OL #72 Jonathan Alston
On the game…
"We had some turnovers that set us back, but we found a way to win. Everybody pulled together and played their part and we got the win."

On the importance of winning a close game…
"Close games are great because you work hard and work hard. Tonight we ended up getting a good result."

QB #12 Blake Mitchell
On coming into the game after injury to Syvelle Newton…
"I was just thinking that I have to go in there and step it up. I knew that we needed to put some points on the board."


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