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Oct. 11, 2004

Columbia, S.C. – The following are opening comments from Lou Holtz’s press conference held on Monday, October 11, 2004:

“Last week was a very disappointing game against Ole Miss. We all contributed to the loss including myself. We made critical mistakes at critical times. We played very poorly in the first half in all aspects of the game, but we rallied and took the lead which is a positive thing. I was concerned when we were behind at halftime but I was please in the way we reacted. However, we still didn’t make the plays at the critical time.”

“Defensively, we played very well in the second half except for the last drive. A lot of things contributed to that though. After we scored, we gave up a long kickoff return which put us in bad field position. The drive before they scored, we had a third and two that we didn’t convert. Then, after punting, we gave up two passes. I’m not faulting the players because we all contributed to this loss. We didn’t find a way to win but we had opportunities.”

“The second unit, Blake Mitchell and the second team did a nice job when they came in to the game on Saturday. Jabari Levey, Brian Brownlee, Andrea Gause, and Syvelle Newton played well also.”

“Syvelle Newton has really played well in the short time that he has been playing quarterback. On Saturday, he didn’t have a fumble or interception and he made some great plays. One player that I am really impressed with on defense is Ko Simpson, who is a true freshman.”

“We practiced yesterday to try to put it behind us. You have to move on. If you look at what happened this past week, you can’t explain what happened. Georgia dominated LSU two weeks ago and this past Saturday, Tennessee goes to Athens and dominates the game with the Bulldogs. LSU bounces back and dominates the game with Florida in Gainesville.”

“This week, we are going to Kentucky and it is going to be a difficult game. When we were looking at the film, it was Alabama leading the game 17-14 in the third quarter. Alabama had touchdown drives of five, 12, 21 and they also returned a kick back for a touchdown. They had another drive where they started the drive at the Kentucky 29 but they missed a field goal. Despite the score, Kentucky did a good job against Alabama. They are a good team, and defensively they have eight players returning from last season. Their kicking game is very solid. Shane Boyd, their quarterback came in last year against us and we couldn’t stop him.”

“Injury wise, John Strickland, and Dondrial Pinkins will not play on Saturday but Lance Laury will be back. Travis Lee is out indefinitely with a broken finger.”