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Oct. 4, 2004

Columbia, SC – The following are opening comments from Lou Holtz’s press conference held on Monday, October 4, 2004:

On Injuries:

“Lance Laury. They did an MRI. He’s got some problems. He has not been cleared to practice today, but I would not necessarily rule him out.

Dondrial Pinkins is going to have an MRI on his shoulder tonight. They don’t think that there is any structural damage or anything else. They think it is a bruise. We will find out more about him, but it won’t be until tonight. Other than that, Ko Simpson has an ankle injury. I expect everybody to be ready. There is nobody I would rule out, but I’m not sure about Lance Laury and Dondrial Pinkins, but we will just have to see.”

Last week against Alabama:

“Last week looking at the film , I said nothing is as good as it seems and nothing is as bad as it seems. I’ve come out of a game so upset, and go look at the film and you get encouraged and come out of a game where you feel good and look at the film and get discouraged. But, our players are playing hard and they are playing together, and they are competing and they are trying to do things the right way and they are doing what we ask them to do. That’s the most positive thing, but we have a long ways to go.”

Defense: “Defensively it was an excellent performance, particularly our defensive secondary. Tremaine Tyler, Ko Simpson and Fred Bennett. Fred had two interceptions, the other two had two also. Taqui Muhammad, Jamacia Jackson, and Jermaine Harris, those people are playing very well also. Ricardo Hurley and Marcus Lawrence, Rod Wilson continue to play exceptionally well, along with Orus Lambert, and Lance Laury. You look up front the guy that played really well was Stanley Doughty, red shirt freshman made some good plays in there. Preston Thorne continues to play well. Moe Thompson maybe played his best ball game. Charles Silas, George Gause, De’Adrian Coley. You know you can mention almost anyone on defense.”

Offense: “Looking offensively the most encouraging thing was the play of Troy Williamson. The reason I say that is when you look at the film and he knew he wasn’t going to throw it, yet he played his heart out, even though we weren’t going to throw it. Noah Whiteside continues to play very, very well. I felt Daccus Turman and Cory Boyd competed very well. I think Jabari Levy might have played his best football game since he has been here at South Carolina. He really set the tempo. Of course Na’Shan Goddard continues to play well. Brian Brownlee played like two tight ends, pleased with he and Andy Boyd. John Austin’s playing well. Tucker got a lot of work in there. You know for the first time he will probably have to figure into that. We have to play more people on offense, particularly on the offensive line. I’m disappointed with the tempo, the walking around in the fourth quarter when we seemed to have the game dominated. We lost the rhythm in there. So we’re going to try play more people and that means some people like Woodly Telfort and James Thompson, Will Brown and Freddy Saint-Preux are going to have to take on a greater role. I feel we have to do that.”

Turnovers: “The turnovers were the most disappointing thing and they always occur deep in our territory, which is no excuse. And they always occur on first down. If can get to second down, I’d feel better. You can’t have three turnovers. The interception was just a poor read and a poor throw. And then the turnovers, one was a handoff. But I take responsibility for the handoff because we hadn’t worked the play enough from an eye formation, so maybe that’s our fault. The other ones, no.”

Kicking game: “The kicking game, Josh Brown did a nice job at his 41 yards and good coverage. I think Ike Crofoot, I need to mention Ike Crofoot, little 175- pound snapper, who makes good snaps and covers well. People are starting to double team him some, which I think is a good attribute.

“Our players are playing hard and now this week is going to be a critical week, I think, at how well you handle the win down there. But we’ve got a lot of areas we’ve got to improve and we’ve got to do it soon.”