SOUTH CAROLINA HEAD COACH LOU HOLTZ
On the game:
"In the first half we dropped the screen pass where we had a chance to score, then we dropped the third down pass, we missed those opportunities. Our players played hard. Tennessee is a very good football team. I know they have Miami next week. I don't care about who they have, but I felt that they would come to play like they played and I just prepared our team for it. They are a talented team and just went back to playing the way they know how to play and play best. They controlled the football and made so many third down plays and hit their slants. It was very disappointing, but we lost to a better football team today."
About the play of Carolina's offense:
"We couldn't throw the football at all. When you rush for 184 yards and foot 170 in passing you have decent production but we got no production out of the passing game. None. We had three interceptions and 47-yards, the passing game is our biggest problem right now. I think we run the ball fairly well."
On playing Dondrial Pinkins:
"It was Skip's decision to put Dondrial in. He felt he did some nice things while he was in there but Corey is our starting quarterback, no doubt."
About Tennessee pass coverage:
"They mixed up their coverage pretty well. I thought our protection was pretty good overall. Every time we threw it down field they seemed to be there."
More on USC play:
"I thought we would be better coming off of an off week. I thought the passing game would be better. It is disappointing, but they made the plays and we didn't. They were the better football team today. All of our mistakes added up. This is the best Tennessee has played and we played them at their best, no doubt about that."
"We gave up a 64-yard run which set up their first score. You play and you win together as a team. I thought our punt coverage was pretty good. We had three turnovers and didn't convert third downs in the passing game. I thought we made some good plays on defense but we made critical mistakes."
"We have some people that are playing wide receivers that weren't recruited to play wide receivers and that is tough. I don't question our focus. You go in that locker room right now and it is a down locker room."
TENNESSEE HEAD COACH PHILLIP FULMER
"Obviously, I'm just really proud of our team and our staff. It hasn't been easy the last couple weeks with the injuries and our play hasn't been what we wanted it to be. But tonight, and really throughout the whole time, our team has stuck together throughout all of the adversity and kept fighting."
"Our defense was unbelievable tonight.... Our offense played more like we should play. Casey was a warrior, handled the offense extremely well. The offensive line did a heck of a job and the receivers made plays when they had to make plays."
"The football gods smiled on us tonight."
"Cedric Houston did a great job tonight. I told him back in spring practice that we were having a heck of a time tackling the guy and it was much better than it has been. I told him that we want him to run over people, make people miss him, do what it takes to gain yards."
On the missed extra points: "The first one was just a bad snap. The second one, just about everything went bad on that one. The snap wasn't sharp and crisp, the holder didn't get the laces turned, and the kicker kicked it bad. It was probably as bad as it could be."
"We couldn't tackle their QB early on. It took us awhile to adjust. They have a good little package and plan [offensively]."
SOUTH CAROLINA PLAYER QUOTES
DB Deandre Eiland
"We had to play with toughness. We had a few missed assignments that left us shorthanded. "We just have to move on and not let this stick with us."
DB Dunta Robinson
"I thought the defense played well. We did a lot of good things. We stalled on 3rd down, something we've done all year. We have to get better." "We've had an up and down season. We have to fix some things."
QB Corey Jenkins
"After losing back-to-back games we've got to come back and win the nest one. I put too much air on the one ball I threw deep. I gave the safety too much time to get under it. We will probably be sick watching film tomorrow. I'm going to keep playing the same way I have been all year. I'm going out to win ball games. Pressure wise, I don't really feel too much. It's there but we still have three more games."
RB Andrew Pinnock
"I felt we played them evenly. We made mistakes in the last 5-6 minutes. The last drive they put together was the best of their season.
"We have to put the loss behind us if we want to move on to a bowl game."
TENNESSEE PLAYER QUOTES
#1 Jason Witten, TE
"Coach has been stressing to us the need that we have to play better on both sides of the ball, and I think we still need some work but today was a lot better than what we have done in the past. We talked about playing with pride and we showed that today. We could have folded ear;ly on because their [USC] defense was so strong it took us a while to get things started. This was a big step in getting us back to where the whole team thinks we should be."
#86 Montrell Jones, WR
"It feels good to get this win. We played better today than we have before, in the last several games, and it feels good to come away with a win any way we can get it. We came in expecting a good, rough game and that's what we got. We had to play well on both parts of the offense: the run and the pass. When we were able to establish our running game, that was a major step for us. Cedric's [Houston] performance was outstanding. He is going to be our go-to back from now on, I think, and for good reason. We needed that for the win tonight, and we needed the win to keep our season positive."
#73 Will Ofenheusle, RT
"All week long we have been stressing confidence in ourselves as part of the game that is needed to be victorious. We did a lot to build our confidence early on, but with the turnovers it was hard to get into a rhythm. We did better at taking care of the football than in the last couple of games, but we still have work to do. It feels really good to get this win and be back on our feet."