Lou's Final 2003 Sunday Conference Call

Coach Holtz held his final conference call of the 2003 season with members of the media Sunday and Gamecock Insider was there ...

Columbia, S.C. - South Carolina head football coach Lou Holtz spoke with the media Sunday afternoon via his weekly teleconference to discuss, among other things, Saturday's season-ending loss to Clemson. Here are some excerpts from his comments:

"It's too early to really assess what happened and what needs to be done. I couldn't give you any definite decisions right now on what needs to be done. It's really mystifying what happened to us on defense the second half of the season. After the Tennessee game, we struggled defensively. We acted like we were confused even though we were trying to simplify things ... There could be some coaching changes. I would think there would be. After a season like this (5-7 overall, USC lost its final four games), you would think there would be. What changes on the staff are going to be; I don't know right now ... I'll take the next few days during Thanksgiving to clear my mind and go over things. I plan on looking at everything from top to bottom; I need to analyze everything ... We had two good years and looked like we were on our way. Now, we've had two straight poor finishes. We started out with a promising season but we didn't finish it ... You try to look at the things that are positive, yet on the other hand, you want to be realistic. At the present time, I plan to return for next season. The number one thing is the University of South Carolina. You can succeed when no one else believes in you. You can't succeed when you don't believe in yourself. I do believe in myself and believe that it can get done ... The losses to Clemson may hurt some in recruiting. Why an individual comes to your school is equally as important to who comes to your school ... I think you'll see Syvelle Newton at quarterback in the spring. Along with Blake Mitchell ... We need to recruit a fullback. I'd like to get a fullback who can also run. The offensive and defensive lines are also a need in recruiting. That's where the whole thing starts; along the line. Secondary is a question mark; more so at safety than corner. There's a good chance in the spring we may look at moving some people in the secondary. Cory Boyd could be a possibility. But, it's far too early to say. We do have question marks there ... Early in the year, I saw progress with the team and the younger players. But we never melded together. We didn't blend together and we didn't develop cohesiveness. That's my fault ... There are a lot of things that go into developing a young team. You need to gain some confidence along the way and we never did ... I'm not going to blame the players for anything. As a coach, you expect to receive criticism. Players are here to get an education and play football. (could Dondrial Pinkins play another position next year?) "I'm not even going to address that yet ... I watched the film of the game twice already. Jabari Levey played well, especially in the first half. Chris White did some good things ... You hate to lose a group of seniors like this; you've been with them for four years. You hate to see them go out like this. You've got to live with the past; you can't change it. One thing the seniors should learn from this ... is that you can only live one day at a time and you'd better make the most of it."

Note: Gamecock Insider will have a complete and detailed transcript of the call Monday morning on the site for Subscribers.

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