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Holtz, Gamecocks Weary Of Winless Cavaliers
Coach Holtz
 
Coach Holtz

Associated Press, Sept. 4, 2002

This time he is more concerned with his own defense, rather than the opposition as the 22nd-ranked Gamecocks travel to Virginia on Saturday.

Holtz was not thrilled with Saturday's 34-24 season-opening victory over lightly regarded New Mexico State. The Gamecocks allowed 419 total yards, including 212 rushing, as the game was markedly different from their 31-0 rout of the Aggies in 2000.

"Now we know the truth," Gamecocks senior safety Jonathan Martin said. "We know we need to get a lot better than what we are."

Holtz did not offer many platitudes for the defense, jokingly pausing when asked to talk about the positives from the defense before going right to praising his offense.

"There is nobody's job on defense safe, with the exception of (Langston) Moore, (Lance) Laury and (Jonathan) Martin," Holtz said on Monday. "We have problems in the defensive backfield as illustrated by the perimeter run coverage, third-down passing and lack of pressure on the passer."

There will be no formation changes by defensive coordinator Charlie Strong, who uses a 3-3-5 alignment. But the Gamecocks will have to improve on third-down play after allowing the Aggies to convert nine of 16 attempts.

Offensively, quarterback Corey Jenkins finished with 279 total yards of offense, including 113 rushing. South Carolina rolled up 401 yards, including 229 on 46 rushes.

Virginia (0-2) is looking for any kind of momentum after a 40-19 loss to No. 5 Florida State on Saturday. The Cavaliers were not competitive for most of their Atlantic Coast Conference opener, scoring their three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to make the final score somewhat respectable.

"There have been a lot of teams that came into this place that when the score was 33-0 it finished up 68-3," Cavaliers coach Al Groh said.

Groh undoubtedly will be spending the week focusing on his team's run defense after it yielded 397 yards at 6.6 yards per attempt.

The good news was the loss may have entrenched Matt Schaub as the starting quarterback. He completed 19 of 25 passes for 247 yards and three touchdowns in relief of Marques Hagans, who completed only one of 7 passes for four yards.

The former ACC rivals have not met since a 58-10 victory by the Gamecocks in 1987. South Carolina leads the all-time series 19-12-1.

 

 

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