South Carolina Head Coach Lou Holtz
"Time outs were critical."
"I thought the football team played well, particularly, the first half."
"Not being able to stop the run was the most disappointing thing."
On timeout with 10 men on field: We went to a nickel. Freddy St. Preux was injured, and he didn't tell anybody. We didn't know it. We haven't had problems before.
On fake punt: We had the alley. That was what we had worked on as an out, but not as far as kicking it.
On timeouts: You've got to treat them like gold.
On Chavez Donnings: He did a nice job, ran with it well. A stupid penalty at the end, trying to make something happen.
We could have won this definitely. We said four or five plays would decide the game, no doubt.
We have a fake run and a fake pass off the punt.
You're going to have mistakes. We made a couple more than they did.
Teams have to learn how to win. You have to not be afraid to lose, you have to reach out and take chances, gambles, weigh the odds and go with that.
We've got to learn how to win."
South Carolina Player Quotes
On the fake punt:"The play was set to roll right and throw left to Jamacia Jackson. Coach Holtz called it on the sideline. Florida had it sniffed out completely. I could have tried to run it or punt it but the guy was right on me. I tried to do my best. We practice it a lot but we didn't practice it this week. Jamacia was the primary receiver but Florida saw it all the way."
On the fake punt: "It's kind of disappointing but it's the way game goes sometimes. We want to win six games and go to a bowl so next week's game is very important. We need to prepare hard this week. It's tough when we don't pull those close ones off. In the third quarter we didn't do much. In the lockerroom a lot of people were upset we didn't get the victory but we have to bounce back. Next week is important to all of us."
"We came so close all season in games like this and it's a crazy feeling. We got relaxed a little in the third quarter - when things started going our way. We have fallen short all season. Like Coach Holtz told us all week - five plays would determine the outcome of the game. We knew they'd be fired up."
"We played hard and we wanted to be on the winning side of the ball today. It's devastating to lose to anybody like that. When you come so close and you dominate them, it really hurts. We have to grow up quick this week and fix the mistakes. We need to be able to win the close games. We just didn't do the things we needed to win at the end. I don't know why we came out flat in the second half but we did. We have a lot of young guys and sometimes things happen. The fake punt hurt us but that's part of the game. You have to keep playing."
"We have to come together this next week. When something goes wrong we have to keep our confidence and stick together on both sides of the ball.. We have to keep playing 60 minutes. The fake punt was a shock but the coaches told us we had to answer back if we wanted to win. When came into the game prepared to win and there were a couple bad plays and it went their way. WE all have to just bind together. We are a good football team and we have to have the confidence to go out and win."
"You get tired of losing, it eats on you. At this point we know we all have to pick it up. I have confidence in my teammates. We didn't fold out there today and I am proud of our team. By the end of the night we just have to let this go and get ready for Clemson. I really don't want to be sitting at home for Christmas break."
"I don't know why we came out flat in the second half. They play a lot of hurry up offense and it makes you tired, so we relaxed. We started to depend on other people to make plays because we might be tired. You have be the one to make the plays. We know next week is do or die. We will go home for Christmas if we won't win and my career here - the seniors - will be over. WE can't lose. We played tough, made a couple mistakes today - but we forced a lot of turnovers. On a few drives though we let them just run the ball down our throats."
Florida Head Coach Ron Zook
On Florida's play: "It has been like this all year long. We don't make things easy for us. We have come a long way. This team has matured a lot and has more confidence then at the beginning of the season. Six to eight weeks ago, we might not have won this game. We played a very good team today. South Carolina had a great plan and Coach Holtz definitely had his team prepared to play."
"We didn't panic. We know that when you go into opposing stadiums like Williams-Brice, it is tough to play. We knew we had to keep playing regardless of whether we were playing well or not."
About SC's fake punt: I anticipated there would be a fake punt but to tell the truth, I thought it was going to be the first one. After that, I just figured one was coming somewhere in the game."
On Senior Tight End Ben Troupe: "Ben Troupe has been very consistent all year for us. He is a great football player and a great person."
University of Florida Player Quotes
Ben Troupe - Tight End
On halftime in the Gator locker room: "It fell on us. We had to do what we came here to do. The coaches coach, and we have to execute. The coaches were coaching, but we weren't executing."
Reflecting on his career as a Florida Gator: "I was talking about this with my Mom the other night. I never thought that all these big schools would want to recruit me. I never thought that you people [the media] would sit here and want to talk about me catching touchdown passes."
Shannon Snell - Offensive Line
On Chris Leak's performance: "Playing [at South Carolina] is tough. It's one of the toughest places in the SEC to play. It is a very tough environment. It can be tough for anyone. I think Chris was a little rattled at the beginning, but he settled in fine."
On Florida football at the beginning of the season: "Everyone one had given up on us, the media, even the students on campus. Im sure FireRonZook.com was running hot. But we kept trying to play through it, and here we are as a team, playing for the SEC east championship."
Safety Cory Bailey "Playing any SEC opponent is a tough time. Anybody could win on any given Saturday in this conference. This was a big game and we came together as a team. Wee all played our est. We knew this game meant a lot to us."
On the fumble: "It's not usual for a DB to get the ball. You know they don't come often. It was an ugly bounce. I was really mad. Chris Leak came up to me afterwards and told me to forget about those plays to keep playing hard."
QB Chris Leak "This was a great place to play. USC was an awesome team. I had a lot of support here today and I loved it. I think I had 20-30 people here from home. It was great."
"Coach told us to keep playing. Let the game come to you. We were told to focus on our assignment and that is what I did in the second half. Seniors did an awesome job today in front of a huge crowd. They took a major lead in a big game today."
The first period sack of Florida quarterback Chris Leak in the end zone by George Gause was the first safety scored by South Carolina since 1996 when the Gamecocks scored a safety against Central Florida. The sack was the fifth of the season for Gause, which leads the team.
Gause also recovered a Florida fumble in the fourth quarter, his first of the season and his career. The fumble was caused by Lance Laury.
The one yard first period run by Cory Boyd was the fourth touchdown of the season by the freshman tailback. Boyd has three rushing touchdowns and one on a pass reception.
The second period 11 yard sack of Chris Leak by Ricardo Hurley was his first sack of the season. It also was the first career sack for the sophomore defensive end from Greenwood.
The second period recovery of a Florida fumble by Marcus Lawrence was his first of the season and the ninth recovery of an opponents fumble by the Gamecocks.
The attendance of 81,523 increased the season total in Williams-Brice Stadium to 562,767. In seven home games South Carolina has averaged 80,395 fans per game. The remaining home game, against Clemson, should increase 2003 home attendance to more than 640,000.
The 73 yard punt return by Chavez Donnings for a touchdown as time expired in the first half was the longest scoring punt return by South Carolina since Dick Harris returned a punt 77 yards against Georgia Tech in 1971. The Donnings return was the first scoring return of a punt by the Gamecocks since Derek Watson blocked a Florida punt in 2000 and returned it two yards for a touchdown. The Donnings return was his first of the season. He returned one punt each in 2001 and 2002 for a total of 23 yards.
The 64 yard third period punt by Josh Brown was his longest of the season . It was the longest Gamecock punt since Tyler Dean had a 79 yard punt in the 2002 Outback Bowl. Brown's previous long punt was for 51 yards.
The four yard fourth period run by Dondrail Pinkins was his fifth touchdown of the season. Pinkins also has scored a two point conversion. Pinkins has eight career touchdowns.
Daccus Turman rushed for 122 yards on 20 attempts. His second triple digit rushing game of the season was one yard shy of the 123 yards he gained against Virginia. South Carolina has four triple digit individual rushing games this season. The other two were by Demetris Summers, against Alabama Birmingham and Tennessee.
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