09/01 Football Press Conference Notes and Quotes

Head coach Lou Holtz met with the media on Monday afternoon to review Saturday's 14-7 season-opening victory over Louisiana-Lafayette and to preview Saturday's match-up against nationally-ranked Virginia. The coach offered the following comments during his weekly press conference ...

(on the offense against Louisiana-Lafayette) "A couple of positive things on offense was that we only had one turnover, but our quarterback put the ball on the ground once but was able to recover it. We did not put our defense in bad field position. We did have the one turnover, we never gave them the ball on our end of the field, which certainly helped. The negative things -we were not physical, did not run the ball particularly well and did not get any big plays, when we got inside the 20-yard line four times and got only two touchdowns. We need to get more than that. Additionally, we had counted ten balls that were dropped and should have been caught. When the other team jams you at the line and plays straight man-to-man you have to come up with some big plays. Not once did we come up with a catch that could have really helped, like the one just before the half."

(on the defense against the Ragin' Cajuns) "On defense, there were some positives. We did not have a defensive penalty. We averaged six a game in our last six games last year. We did get three turnovers and stopped the long pass. We gave up a couple of 20-25 yard passes because of missed assignments and missed technique. On third down they were 29% as they only 5 of 17 on conversions. The negative is that we had 12 missed tackles. Great teams do not miss tackles. I don't think we played as hard as we had to. I think the players thought they played hard, but they were wrong."

(on the kicking game against Louisiana-Lafayette) "In the kicking game, the PAT after the touchdown was blocked. They got no penetration and it was a slow kick. The holder was a little too deep which gave them a better angle. It wasn't like they had a guy come free like they did earlier in the game, but nonetheless you cannot have that. On our one kick return we had pretty good blocking by nine people, but unfortunately it takes eleven. I thought we kicked off and covered decently. I was not real pleased with our punting. I didn't think we kicked it as well as we should have and other than Ike Crofoot, we did not cover it very well. The disturbing thing on the punt returns was the penalty that negated a long return."

(on reviewing Saturday's game and preparing for this week) "I think we come out of that game and realize that nothing is as good as it seems and nothing is as bad as it seems. Reality falls somewhere in between. I don't think we are as bad on offense as we appeared to be and I know we are not as good on defense as we appeared to be at times. One of two things is going to happen to our football team today, we are either going to have a great resolve or we are going to come out and say 'we don't have a chance'. I don't know which one it will be but it will be one of those things."

(on playing Virginia) "I think it is great to play Virginia at this time. It will be a tremendous challenge. Their team is among the top-15 in the country, even some people have put them as high as No. 4, and justifiably so. They set all kinds of records last year, won their bowl game with 48 points against West Virginia. They are exceptionally talented, probably as talented as any team I have seen. They put 34 points on the board against us last year and probably could have had more."

(on Virginia's offensive line) "Their offensive line is huge and very well coached. They look like a pro offensive line even though many of them are sophomores. They are all big, strong and have great lateral movement and protect the passer very well. They are mammoth."

(on the Cavaliers' running game) "They are a running football team. Matt Schaub was ACC Player of the Year last season but they are a running team. Walli Lundy was a freshman last year and tied a conference record for most receptions and had a great year rushing. He had about 1700 all-purpose yards. Alvin Pearman is another great back and Marquis Weeks is faster than all of them. They have three great backs and I don't know of any team that has that many outstanding running backs."

(on Virginia's passing game) "They are solid at wide receiver. Marques Hagans is a real threat who runs back punts, covers on the punt team and ran a fake punt. He is a great open-field runner and scored a touchdown in their first game. Schaub is a very pro-oriented quarterback but got hurt last week. I don't know what his status is for this game. Anthony Martinez came in and did a good job and I think he will be an excellent quarterback. They give you a lot of problems on offense with their running game and play-action passes."

(on the Cavaliers' defense) "They are very talented defensively. Darryl Blackstock was a freshman All-American last year and defensive Chris Canty is back after missing about seven games last season. Their linebacker Ahmad Brooks is special. They mentioned how great he was as a true freshman and watching him on film, he is the real deal. Their defense presents a lot of problems. They do not do anything fancy, just line up and run enough stunts to confuse you. They just play good solid fundamental and sound defense."

Gamecock Anthem Top Stories