Originally created 11/20/00

South Carolina notebook



A look at the South Carolina Gamecocks (7-4, 5-3 SEC) two days after their 16-14 loss at Clemson:

What worked: The defense. South Carolina held the Tigers to 22 points fewer than their average and forced them into three-downs-and-out on five of their first eight possessions. Still, the Gamecocks gave up a season-high 174 yards rushing and allowed the game's decisive play, a 50-yard pass from Woody Dantzler to Rod Gardner that enabled the game-winning field goal with three seconds left.

What didn't: The offense. South Carolina spent most the second half in Clemson territory but little of it in the Tigers' end zone. On the four possessions before they scored the go-ahead touchdown with 59 seconds left, the Gamecocks reached the Tigers' 32-, 40-, 49- and 3-yard lines but had no points to show for it. South Carolina's power game was effective in the first half but sputtered thereafter. Coach Lou Holtz attributed it to the Tigers' twists and stunts on the defensive front.

What's next: The Gamecocks will play in a bowl, but it's likely no one will no where until after the Dec. 2 SEC Championship game. South Carolina still has a remote shot at the Outback Bowl, but it probably will have to settle for the Peach or Music City bowls. Holtz said Outback representatives were prepared to extend his team an invitation following the game provided the Gamecocks won.

Injuries: The Gamecocks have several nagging injuries, all of which should heal in time for the bowl game. Holtz said FS Antione Nesmith, who has missed the past four games with an injured knee, will return.

Analysis: Holtz was angry at the officiating after the game, and a night's rest did little to temper his contention that Gardner committed pass interference on the final pass. "We ran stride for stride with him for 25 yards, and all of a sudden in a 3-yard period, we stopped running and he continued," Holtz said of Gardner, who was defended by cornerback Andre Goodman and free safety Deandre Eiland on the play.

Quote: "He's part-time. He's not a full-time head of officials. ... I have to see when he's going to come into the office, to see which day he's going to come in." - Holtz, on if and when he plans to contact Bobby Gaston, the SEC's supervisor of officials, regarding Saturday's controversial no-call.