Holtz: Lot of pain, lot of hurt for this team

USF head Coach Skip Holtz talks about the Bulls 27-30 home loss to West Virginia, ending their season early. Coach said he's very proud of this group of seniors and this football team, and thewres a lot of pain and a lot of hurt .

USF Head Coach Skip Holtz talks about the Bulls 27-30 home loss to West Virginia, ending their season early.

Part 1
Part 2

Opening statement...
"Well I'll sit here and say it again, if you didn't have a vested interest in who won the game it was a heck of a football game. It's really hard right now, there's not a lot of words you can say in that locker room to take the pain and the hurt away. This football team has literally lost four games now on the last play of the game. I can't ask this team to play with anymore passion or anymore heart, anymore togetherness, I can't ask them to put any more of their soul into this as they have. I've had teams in my past with better records, I don't know that I've had a team that has taught me more through handling adversity and perseverance and having a positive attitude and just coming back week after week after week when we've been through so many losses that just take all the air out of your lungs. I am just really proud, really proud of this group of seniors, really proud of this football team. We can talk about the game and there were mistakes made and special teams were awful, the special teams were just awful. I thought our defense played well, I thought B.J. came in and competed his tail off for a guy that missed a lot of time with his shoulder. I thought he came in and really competed, did some really good things, I thought so many guys on defense competed, it's just unfortunate really. A blocked punt led to three points, we had a kickoff return that goes for seven, it was just really unfortunate because in some areas we outplayed them early in the football game but on the scoreboard we were losing the game. Nobody hung their head, nobody quit, nobody threw their arms up, nobody moaned, groaned or complained, they just continued to compete. I appreciate the leadership of this school with Judy Genshaft and Doug Woolard with what they do for us and I'm really proud of this senior class. Really a lot of pain and a lot of hurt for this football team."

On the frustrating season...
"Seems like there was always a play in these close football games, and I've said this before, we've probably now played about 2,000 plays in this season and four of them, four plays is what had made the difference. Like I said this is one of the better football teams that I've ever had. Wins were elusive for us in a lot of different ways this year, whether it be offense, some things defensively, some things special teams. Again there at the end of the game on the 28-yard line with a first down I was feeling pretty about where we were and then you turn the ball over and give up a 15-yard penalty that takes the ball down there. Take those 15 yards away who knows what would have happened. It's just unfortunate. A lot of pain for these players. I congratulate West Virginia, I don't know where they'll go or what will happen, they have a good football team and they came in here and they competed but at the end of the day I am still extremely proud of this football team and am glad that I have had the opportunity to coach this group of seniors and these guys this year. They've been a lot of fun."

On being encouraged looking ahead to the future...
"Oh I am extremely encouraged, especially when you look at I think offensively we have pretty much every skill player returning. Quarterback, tight end, wide receiver, running back, we return a great nucleus. A lot of young guys played. I am extremely encouraged with the future. I think some of the lessons learned in corny to some people but I think the leadership that was present by this senior class, showing up every week even though there are a lot of days you don't want to go out there after you just had your heart ripped out in a loss like that. I think those are a lot of the values that will help build this program. I'm not just saying that to make them feel good. People ask me all year, what do you play for now? You lost the conference, what do you play for now? Tell me those guys didn't have something to play for, for the last four or five weeks. You go out there and play for each other. We played the game with an incredible amount of passion, we just made have too many mistakes."

On how tough it was it to see B.J. turn the ball over after making such a heads up play...
"Well I thought B.J. did some great things tonight. We didn't know he was going to be able to play, honestly until yesterday. He went out and practiced Wednesday, threw the ball a little bit but winced an awful lot with it. We did not know really until yesterday, yesterday was when it was like you know he can go. Talked about it in the staff meeting today, made the decision to start him and I thought he competed his tail off and I thought he made a lot of heads up plays today. He had a lot of great throws to some receivers, Evan Landi and Deonte Welch, they made some plays for him. We kept the chains alive, probably one our better third down efforts of the year with what we did. Guys making plays for him. It's just unfortunate that it had to finish that way because I know nobody is shouldering the burden more than he is sitting in that locker room right now but he was one of the ones that us a chance to be in a position to win."

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