Monday 09/01 Labor Day Notes

More notes from Lou's press conference verbatim plus notes from a couple of the players worth mentioning ...

Dondrial Pinkins

One of the beat reporters who reads our site and was disputing our late Saturday night report that there were only fifteen plays employed by the offense in the ULL game cornered Dondrial and asked, "How many plays were used Saturday night Dondrial? Let's say there are 100 plays in your playbook ... what percentage of ... how many plays did you use Saturday night Dondrial?"

Dondrial replied: "15%"

Travelle Wharton

Those cramps of his were not fitness, fatigue or dehydration related. What he told us was that he was knee'd by someone in his quadricep and that caused the cramp - it was caused by the blow to his thigh. He told us he is completely over it now.

Hart Turner

Hart said that he was at first uncomfortable with working out of the slot from time to time and it took some getting used to but now he is much more comfortable with it. He said he is working on getting his routes down and his timing and he believes he can become a threat out there soon - he played it some in high school. He believes that he can use his size to his advantage out there going against smaller, albeit faster, defensive backs.

Fans - these players are very focused on what they have to do Saturday. They are very businesslike and they are very realistic. There is no bravado, only confidence that if they follow the gameplan and execute what the coaches are asking of them they feel they can win this game. To a man, the ones we spoke with today believe this is going to be a hard fought battle. And to a man each of them hoped the fans will get behind them because they say they need the fans on their side. Also, they all noted that something was made of the fans booing them in the first half of the game this past Saturday night. They all seemed surprised at Gamecock fans booing.

Lou Holtz 09/01/03

Lou Holtz was in a very happy mood today - he was funny - classical Lou. Very loose. Very focused. As a matter of fact the small graphic of Lou included above in this report was taken today at the press conference - Lou laughed a lot today. What follows are quotes from Lou:

Labor Day - there is no school today so you can utilize your players a little bit longer. We had them come back at 10 o'clock and looked at the kicking game and then we looked at the defense.

8 plays = 170 55 = 80 yards or 70 yards.

We showed them some of the bad plays and then we showed them some of the good plays. This has really come at a good time for us so that we can utilize some of that time.

Offense - couple of the good things about offense is that we only had one turnover although the quarterback laid the ball on the ground one other time but we turned it over only one time. We never gave them the ball on our end of the field which helped.

On the negative end I didn't think we were aggressive and I didn't think we ran the ball particularly well. We got down inside the twenty four times and only came away with two touchdowns and you've got to come away with more than two touchdowns - worse than that we dropped the ball ten times, they were ten passes that should have been caught.

Not one time did we come up with a big play that could have helped.

On defense there was some positives. We didn't have a defensive penalty. We did get three turnovers and we did stop the long pass. We were only on the goal line one time. On third down we were 29%. we were 5 of 17. We had twelve missed tackles - great teams do not miss tackles. I think the players played as hard as they knew how but they were wrong they're going to be able to play harder.

We didn't stop the run like clearly you have to on a consistent basis.

On the kicking game ... the blocked field goal they got no penetration it was a slow kick - but never the less you just can't have that.

Even though we averaged 40.3 net punting but I wasn't particularly pleased with that because we could have done better and we didn't protect as well as we could have.

We made some bad decisions on the punt return team fielding the ball inside the twenty but those are things that can be corrected early.

One of the things is that once you review these films you realize that nothing is as good as it seemed and nothing is as bad as it seems - reality falls somewhere in between. I thought on offense that we were not as bad as we appeared to be at times.

It depends on how the players react this week. A lot of the players on defense, hopefully they will be able to see that we did function as a complete unit. We did have people out there doing their job. And hopefully they will understand that. One of two things is going to happen to this football team today. Either they are going to come out here with great resolve or they will come out and say we don't have a chance.

I mean I don't know what it's going to be but it is going to be one of those two things.

I think it is great to play the University of Virginia at this time this is going to be a tremendous challenge - some have picked them as high as fourth in the preseason and justifiably so. Their offensive line is huge - very athletic they look like a pro offensive line even though many of them are sophomores.

They're a running football team - you start out with Lundy, Wally Lundy 6-2 205 that was freshman last year. He had 1700 yards all purpose last year he's a great back make no mistake about it. Perman is a great back too - they have three great tailbacks. I don't know of any team that has three great running backs like they have and when you put them with the offensive line ....

At wide receiver they are solid there, they moved Hagen to wide receiver, he's a real threat. With their running backs and Hagen they are a real threat ... I think he is very similar to Syvelle Newton in that respect.

The have an outstanding running game and when you combine that with the play action pass they really have a lot of threats and give you a lot of looks ... I am scared to death.

Defensively we're making some progress but I'm telling you we are really going to be pressed. You have to play them very vanilla you can't do a lot of things. Their freshman came in Martinez and I like the way he throws the ball he is going to be an excellent quarterback. But I would not be surprised to see them use Hagen some ... it could be any of three quarterbacks. Offensively they present us with numerous problems.

Defensively they are very talented.

This freshman linebacker Brooks I wanna tell you he is very special - watching him on film he is for real. They just play good solid defense. They are very fundamental and very sound and they run a 2-gap defense. I wanna tell you if you run a 2-Gap defense then you have to have some pretty good people to do it and they do ...

They have a great field goal kicker .... they are an excellent football team they are a top 15 football team but maybe they should be rated higher.

Andy Heck coaches the UVA offensive line he played for me at Notre Dame and I think he is an excellent coach. He played eleven years in the NFL and I think he is going to be very good - he was a GA there last year and he did so good that they moved him up and made him the offensive line coach. He was taught by Gil Moore ...

We have some people banged up but no new injuries. Stroman was operated on Friday morning and he will be in a cast three weeks then a couple more weeks before we can see him back.

Hurley there is an outside chance that he could be available for this game. We might see more of Lance Laury depending on what happens with his knee this week.

As far as Silas is concerned we're going to have to wait on an official version of his status from the University .... same thing on Dan Weaver.

We will get Matthew Thomas back this week.

Demetris has certainly earned more carries. You will see a little bit more of Daccus and a little bit more of Demetris depending upon how he progresses without the ball.

UVA is a basic 5-2 defense the old Oklahoma defense with no undershift and no overshift. They're so well coached they just do things so well. If you can play 2-Gap defense and hold up in it one you are going to be very good and two you are going to be very successful. Their linebackers can take on a 290 pound guard and stay squared and not give up any movement. They are very good and very athletic and it is the best way to play - they don't put a great deal of pressure on their secondary. There are not ten teams in America that can play a 2-Gap defense.

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