09/03 Monday Press Conference Notes and Quotes

USC head coach Lou Holtz met with the media Monday afternoon for his weekly press conference. During the session he reviewed the Gamecocks' 31-7 victory over UVA and previewed Carolina's SEC opener Saturday at defending conference champion UGA. Kickoff between the No. 25 Gamecocks and No. 8 Dawgs is slated for 3:30 p.m. (ET) in front of an expected crowd of 92,000 in Athens and a national television audience on CBS. Coach Holtz offered the following comments during his weekly media address ...

Moe Thompson Named SEC Defensive Player Of The Week

Defensive End
6-3 • 280 • Sophomore
Goose Creek, S.C. (Stratford HS)

  • In South Carolina's 31-7 victory over #15 Virginia, Thompson made six total tackles (five solos), including three tackles for losses, which two were sacks, caused two fumbles and recovered a fumble.
  • His effort helped South Carolina limit Virginia to just 170 total yards, seven first downs and one touchdown.
  • The Cavaliers were just 2 for 14 on third down conversions.
  • In the second half, Virginia had just 36 total yards on 23 offensive plays.

(on USC's offense vs. Virginia)
"On offense, I thought we played very well in the second half, especially in the offensive line. Jabari Levey and Na'Shan Goddard were excellent. Jonathan Alston has not gotten a lot of publicity, but he gives a great effort. Daccus Turman ran well and Dondrial Pinkins played pretty well. There are some things we need to continue improve. We had too many drops and we went didn't throw the ball much in the second half. The timing of our passing game is not real crisp right now. We cannot get to be one-dimension. We have had far too many foolish penalties on offense and in the kicking game; we have not had a defensive penalty this season."

(on the Gamecock defense vs. Virginia)
"On defense we did some good things, but there are some things we need to get corrected. We did a good job of stopping the long run and the long pass. Dunta Robinson is really playing well, he tackles well and they do not throw to his guy very much. Teddy Crawford played the best football game he has played since he has been here; he tackled well and covered well. Marcus Lawrence and Jeremiah Garrison continue to play well at linebacker. Lancy Laury did very well but is very hampered by the leg and there is no doubt about that. On the line, Moe Thompson obviously played very well and Jason Capers played pretty well. I was pleased with the way Darrell Shropshire played up front and how Freddy Saint-Preux played in his first start. Andrea Gause played well, we rotated him in because he had a good week of practice and he, Jamacia Jackson and Rodriques Wilson are playing very well at safety. Jermaine Harris deserves to play more as well."

(on the Carolina kicking game)
"The kicking game really bothers me. We had good snaps, we had no rush and excellent protection on the punt and punted very poorly. We had very few chances on the kickoff return and brought it back 28 yards, which was pretty good. Our kickoff coverage really concerns me. You don't want to play Jeremiah Garrison and Marcus Lawrence on your special teams, but we may be forced to because we are not getting the productivity that we need there."

(on Georgia's defense)
"In their last five football games, including the final three of last year, they gave up seven points to Georgia Tech, three to Arkansas, 13 to Florida State, none to Clemson and 10 to Middle Tennessee State. That's 33 points in their last five games. They have allowed only one touchdown and one field goal this season and had only two field goals attempted against them. No matter what defensive statistic you look at, they are among the top-10 in the nation. They are outstanding on defense and very, very athletic. They do an excellent job recruiting and coaching."

(on the Bulldog offense)
"Offensively, I did not know they would be as prolific as they are. They lost their offensive line and have predominately redshirt freshman. They are all very talented and appear to be coming together. David Greene is a tremendous quarterback. Offensively, they are very good. They have some great wide receivers and are very talented there. I can see why Greene was the SEC Offensive Player of the Year last season. Their line is very athletic and they have a good solid running back with speed and power. The kicking game is outstanding and they always have a great return game."

(on Moe Thompson's selection as SEC Defensive Player of the Week)
"I certainly complement Moe Thompson on being SEC Player of the Week but I think he will be the first one to say that it would not have been possible if the other players would not have been playing their positions and playing as a team. Moe is an excellent player and has made a lot of fine plays but some of the plays he made was because the secondary had good coverage and the other pass rush. He did have two sacks and created three fumbles and recovered two. We are happy for him, but at the same time there was a lot of other people who made that possible."

(on opening SEC play against Georgia)
"This is a brand new season. You watch the film on Georgia and see the talent and speed they have and you are reminded that you are in the SEC. There isn't much you have to say about Georgia with them being the defending champions, the conference season, playing them down there and all the talent they have."

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