Lou's Monday Press Luncheon Notes

The South Carolina Gamecocks close out the regular season by hosting in-state rival Clemson Saturday night at Williams-Brice Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. with ESPN2 televising the game nationally. Head coach Lou Holtz addressed the media Monday afternoon during his weekly press conference and offered the following comments ...

(on injuries)
"Travelle Wharton could be back, but I do not think John Strickland will, and that hurts us. Freddy Saint-Preux could be back but Jason Capers is probably out. I expect Demetris Summers to be able to do some things at practice today."

(on the kicking game against Florida)
"I thought the punt return was very good and well executed. Our punt return has done some good things this year but we have not caught the ball enough to give it a chance to go. The punt return before the half was something you would want to take to a clinic as far as people doing things the right way to set it up. I have great faith in Daniel Weaver, who has kicked the ball exceptional well both in games and in practice."

(on the offensive line play against the Gators)
"I thought our offensive line was outstanding while it was in tact during the first quarter. They just took the ball and were very methodical and did an excellent job. Once we lost John Strickland late in the first quarter and Travelle Wharton early in the second, we had to go with three second-stringers with Chris White at center, Jeff Barnes at tackle and Stephen Sene and Jonathan Alston at right guard."

(on timeouts in the second half of the Florida game)
"You have to guard your timeouts like they are gold. They are precious. Freddy Saint-Preux was injured and did not tell anybody and we went from a three-man line to a four-man line, so we were caught with only 10 men on the field. The other timeouts occurred when we were at the line of scrimmage with about 12 seconds left on the play clock and the center had difficulty making the right call. It created a bit of confusion that we didn't have in the first half."

(on facing teams that are coming off recent wins)
"We lost to Tennessee in overtime, to Ole Miss by three and to Florida by two points and it does not help. All we are trying to do is get some momentum from somewhere. Each of those teams came off big wins and was playing well when we faced them. Now, we play Clemson. That is the way this whole year has been. We are playing people when they are playing their best. These are things we cannot control."

(on Clemson)
"They are very good on offense, defense and in the kicking game. They are a very good football team. Tommy Bowden and his staff have done an excellent job. They are coming in here on a roll and are playing their very best."

(on Clemson's offense)
"Charlie Whitehurst is an excellent quarterback and as good as any we have played this season. I think he is outstanding and has a very good future. He has excellent wide receivers that create all kinds of match-up problems for us. The underestimated part of their team is their offensive line. They dominated our defensive line last year and most of it is back this year. They are running the ball well and use a lot of play-action passes. They are very balanced on offense."

(on the Tiger defense)
"They are vastly improved and are playing exceptionally well. Their front gets a lot of pressure on the quarterbacks and they have a couple of great linebackers and their defensive backs are playing well right now."

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