Post Arkansas - USC Football Notes and Quotes

Columbia, S.C. - * USC head coach Lou Holtz spoke to the media via his weekly teleconference Friday afternoon. Here are some excerpts from that call. The Gamecocks lost 28-6 to Arkansas Thursday night in Little Rock, a game that was televised nationally by ESPN ...

"After looking at the film, they (Arkansas) had seven running plays in which they gained 130 yards. On the other 41 rushing plays, they gained a total of 118 yards. That was critical. I thought our defensive line played fairly well, for the most part. Freddy Saint-Preux played his best game. Darrell Shropshire played pretty well and Moe Thompson played well, despite having to go up against a great player in Shawn Andrews. Our backups along the defensive line didn't play particularly well ... The turnovers hurt us. I don't know why we had so many. On the fumble down inside their two yard line, you look at the film and it's heart-wrenching, because if he (Troy Williamson) gets the handoff cleanly, he walks into the end zone. Their cornerback came up and we had him sealed off. Their drive right before the end of the first half was critical. Then, when we couldn't answer on our first drive of the second half, that was big. I still don't see how they completed the touchdown pass in the third quarter. That play was another one that hurt. I told the team that there were going to be three time frames that would be critical - the first five minutes of the game, the last five minutes of the second quarter, and the first five minutes of the third quarter. Unfortunately, I was right. There were about three plays that threw the whole game into helter-skelter ...

(on the fumble down near the goal line):
"We had run that formation in practice on a number of occasions. I've done that a lot over the years, going back to Tim Brown (at Notre Dame). Like I said earlier, if the handoff is executed, he scores, no doubt about it. That fumble was a downer - it shouldn't be, but it was. When you're struggling like we are right now, it starts to get in the players' minds ... I thought we were ready to play and except for a handful of plays, we played pretty well. On the seven plays that gained them 130 yards, we were mis-aligned. Much of that had to do with defending Matt Jones and the option. We were aware of his running ability ... Being realistic, Arkansas played well; they were coming off a great win (7 overtime victory over Kentucky last Saturday); their fans were excited and into the game ... I'm not pleased with what happened and we must eliminate the kind of mistakes we are making. But, I do believe there is a bright future ahead for this football team. I believe that with all my heart ... We're going to meet with the team today at 4 p.m. We're going to show them the seven plays that gained 130 yard for Arkansas and the 41 plays that gained just 118 yards. We're going to go over the film and make corrections ...

(on facing Florida next week, in particular, in facing former defensive coordinator Charlie Strong, who is now with the Gators):
"Florida is playing as well as any team in this conference right now. The athletes they have are something else. They are playing hard and playing with confidence. Charlie Strong is like a son to me. He's done a very good job with their defense. He's good for the chemistry and he's been good for their football team."

Injury update: Freshman tailback Demetris Summers, who sustained a concussion during the early stages of the second half of Thursday night's game with Arkansas, spent the night in a Little Rock hospital for observation. Tests done on his neck were negative. Summers is scheduled to return to Columbia later today. His status for next week will be re-evaluated on Monday.

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