Gamecock Insider: Skip Holtz Indepth

Skip Holtz talks about the Vandy game and how his offense performed. He talks about Demetris Summers' injury, about the changes on the offensive line. He spends a lot of time talking about his running backs in general. He also goes into good detail about his requirements for seeing improvement in his offense each week and his views on if they are actually improving or if they are not ...

Skip Holtz

(On Perhaps Not Playing Demetris Summers Should He Become Too Gimpy)
"No. No, I mean he is going to go as he can go. I mean we got into (the) Kentucky (game) ... we got into that one and he looked like he was favoring it a little bit. We've got some really good backs so I mean we try to rest him a little bit. But if he can go and he is running hard then he'll play. But if he is hampered with it I am not going to run a gimp horse."

(On Chris White Starting At Center)
"Chris White ... it is confusing for him right now. I mean John Strickland was in there but he was making an awful lot of mistakes and if you know this program then you know that you are only as good as your last performance and we're not going to sit back and let someone make a lot of mistakes. So we turned it - we put Chris White in there and we're going to give him some work in there. He's doing a pretty good job although it is a little confusing to him right now."

(Will The Coaches Attend The J.V. Game?)
"We'll grade our film in the morning and then we'll go watch this J.V. game."

(How Did The J.V. Game Happen To Be Scheduled All Of The Sudden?)
"In the off-season they approached Dave Roberts about playing the game. They have already played Alabama. They've played BYU and Kentucky ... they beat Kentucky. They play a number of games in the region because games are so hard to get for them because all the junior colleges are over in Mississippi and California and places like that. But this gives our young people an opportunity to play. I think it is good for our younger players ... even a lot of the walk-ons who never get the opportunity to dress."

(Now At The Same Stage As Last Year - Is This Team A Different Animal Than Last That Lost The Final Five Games?)
"Well I think at the end of last year we were throwing for about 200 yards a game at this point and then lost six receivers. This was the LSU game last season and we lost Michael Ages, we lost Ryan Brewer, we had already lost Matt Thomas and James Atkisson. We were already down six receivers those six and at that point our productivity in the passing game dropped to nothing. I think we threw for 100 yards a game after that. People could load up the box and take away the running game and we had no passing game that we could go to. So I think this is an entirely different team than it was a year ago at this time. I think this team is relatively healthy compared to a year ago when we had lost so many guys. I think Matt Thomas got really frustrated tonight because he wants to catch the ball more as all great receivers do and I was really pleased with the way Troy Williamson stepped up and I think Dondrial did some nice things. I was really pleased with him and he did a nice job of protecting the football. So overall I was pleased ... I think we could have opened it up a little more but there really wasn't a need to the way those guys were blocking up front and the way our backs were running the ball."

(On Coach Lou Telling Him To Take Control Of The Game With His Offense Against Vandy Last Night)
"It made me a little gun shy to call a pass. I mean when you're averaging 5.0 yards everytime you run the ball and they really haven't been able to stop your run it makes you a little leary to start throwing."

(On The Passing Game)
"I think our passing game is improving but it is not where it needs to be. I think if we had thrown the ball thirty or forty times tonight then we would have had some success. But where not where we need to be because we throw a low ball one time and the next time it is a pressure. We've just got to get more consistent in our passing game if we our going to be productive down this last stretch of games."

(On Demetris' Elbow Injury Last Night Against Vandy)
"They cleared him to play in the second half, they x-rayed his elbow and then cleared him to play I just didn't feel that there was a need to put him in there at that point. I figured you got a guy like Cory Boyd and you need to get him in there and give him a chance to get some experience. I mean if he runs backwards again he'll never play again ... (laugh) ... but I think it was great for him (Cory) to get in there and get some experience. I mean we know what Demetris can do so there is no sense in putting a guy out there with one arm when you can hold him out and give him a chance to get healthy."

(On The Wide Receivers' Improvement In The Vandy Game)
"Well I don't know if there was anymore of an emphasis. I mean Troy Williamson's attitude this week has been phenominal. I mean he has been like a kid in a candy store sitting on the edge of his seat with his eyes wide open and he sits here in team meetings (snapping back answers to questions) I mean he has just been really into it this week. I was pleased with some of the plays Troy made because he did go get the ball a couple of times. I was pleased with Hart Turner and Brian Brownlee because the caught a couple of balls over the middle. If you can eliminate them (the defense) from doubling your wide receivers then it opens things up that much more. You gotta a guy like Troy on one side and Matt on the other there are going to be some weeks, one week when maybe it's Troy's week or maybe it's Matt's week. You take what a coach gives you."

(On Noah Fielding The Punt On The Five)
"Look at the bright side ... he caught it. He could have dropped that ball. (laugh) Dunta Robinson and Demetris were out, game so if they are out then Noah is our # 3 guy back there."

(On Weekly Improvement Of His Offense - How Does He Gauge It?)
"Well, it's like we were a lot better tonight than we were eight weeks ago when we started this thing. I think in the opener we had like ten drops ... then Virginia we had seven ... but we are getting better and better. I think we had one, maybe two. It's getting better every week. That's what happen when you have a young football team. A young football team is going to get better every week. They have been doing what we have been asking them to do ... they still have four weeks to get even better. Better than we were this week. Maybe next week it is one less negative play than we had this week and we will keep striving to get better. If we are running the ball like we are, if we can throw it, then we have the ability to be a potent offense."

(Again, On White Starting And The Remainder Of The Offensive Line)
"I was very pleased with Chris. Last week John Strickland had a number of assignment deals so we asked Chris to step in because he grades out as a winner. We asked Chris to come in this week and he had a number of calls ... he called for a double team (in the middle) every play but that is part of being young and the Center makes the call. I mean there were times the guard should have been helping the tackle but Chris was like 'no no you come help me' (laugh) he called double-teams all night. BUT, I thought he did a nice job other than the one snap when we were backed up that was a little bit low. I thought Chris White played a really nice game and I think that is really important for us right now to have two centers especially after losing Chad Walker. It is really important for us to have another guy who if we were to lose one of our centers right now it is important for us to have another guy that can step in there and play. Now have Strickland and Chris White creates a little depth. Now have Sene come along and make the improvements that he's made ... Jeff Barnes played quite a bit. We've got a lot of guys right now that are rolling up front there on that offensive line that are doing an awful lot of good things. Guys that we trust that we look at as starters. It's kind of nice to be able to play them. You know everyone is always rolling two defensive linemen in there at us and these are 300 and 310 pound guys that are having to play the whole game. Now we can give those guys a blow and keep them fresh, especially when you have to run the ball. I think it will play dividends at the end of the game."

(On The Overall Performace Of His Backs And Offensive Line As Unit Verses Vanderbilt)
"I thought the running backs ran extremely hard and I thought the offensive line did a great job especially with Vandy rolling the safeties down all night trying to take away our running game."

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