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Nov. 15, 2004

Columbia, SC – The following are opening comments from the Lou Holtz press conference held on Monday, November 15th:

On injuries:

“Josh Brown has the flu. He should be ok for this week’s game. Chris Tucker had surgery. He is out for the season. Andrea Gause, Daccus Turman, and Dondrial Pinkins are doubtful. Taquiy Muhammad would be questionable. De’Adrian Coley, Troy Williamson and Syvelle Newton are probable.”

On Saturday’s game against Florida:

“I think Florida played as well as I have seen them play. It wasn’t the same team I saw. We were out coached and out played by a very fine football team.

“On our defensive line, Preston Thorne continues to play well. Moe Thompson played extremely well. Our linebackers played well. On offense our centers and tackles played well.

“Both guard positions are wide open. I cannot tell you where we will go there. It has been a problem all year. That showed last Saturday.

“Our quarterbacks obviously did not play very well, but then again, looking at the film they never had a chance. We did not put pressure on Chris Leak. He is a great quarterback. You give him that much time, he makes an awful lot of plays. We just did not do a job inside. On our offense, Demetrius Summers and Cory Boyd continue to play very well and do awful good things.”

“Then you got Clemson. They are very impressive. They have won four in a row. They looked very impressive against the University of Miami on film. I will meet with our team at four o’clock today. I don’t know what kind of team I will find. I know that they weren’t particularly happy Saturday night, but they were not near as unhappy as I was.

“You look at it, we cannot continue to give up the big play on defense. We play well for a quarter and a half or half. Then things break loose, we give up big runs, big passes on third down. We stopped them the first three times on third down. Then I think they converted eight straight third downs. I am not talking about third down and one or two. I am talking about eight straight third downs.

“Then you have turnovers on offense. Then your offense or defense has to be able to stop one another, and that has been the disturbing thing in most of our losses. The big plays, turnovers, and third down conversions and then you are forced into a one dimension game and which are not equipped to play at this present time.

On Clemson:

“We have 18 starters from South Carolina, 11 on defense and eight on offense. A lot of players from the same team and the same state. I would hope that this game means as much to them as it does me after what happened last year. Looking at Clemson, they are always a good football team. I think that Tommy Bowden does a fine job and is a fine football coach. He is also a fine person.

“He also has a great quarterback in Charlie Whitehurst. He set 34 Clemson records. He has thrown for over 7,000 yards and 38 touchdowns. Last year he threw for 300 yards and four touchdowns against us. And Airese Currie. They have what they feel is the fastest wide receiver in college football. He has 60 receptions. He leads the ACC. He has tremendous speed. We tried to recruit him very hard. Excellent player.

“Defensively, Clemson is really playing well. They have 41 sacks and 106 tackles for losses. That’s a lot of yardage. I don’t care how you put it. Linebacker Leroy Hill is an excellent player, No. 43. He has a natural nose for the football. He has eight sacks and 99 tackles. They are good up front. Hill is outstanding.

“I think Fudge, their safety, has three interceptions. Their corners are excellent; Justin Miller, who is a candidate for the Jim Thorpe award. Tye Hill has great speed and they play great man coverage. They are going to play man coverage and they’re going to get up on you and I haven’t seen anyone get open. I’ve seen some people make some great throws and great catches, but there is not a lot of room for margin of error.

“We are playing them up there obviously. We are playing them early. I haven’t seen a better team than them in the afternoon. This one has bothered me for a year. So we’ll see.”