Nov. 14, 2001
By DOUG FEINBERG AP MegaSports Writer
Clemson and South Carolina look to rebound from one-sided defeats as they meet in the annual battle for state bragging rights Saturday.
“This is a game that is important to us and is important to Clemson. We’re both coming off disappointing losses,” South Carolina coach Lou Holtz said. “We’re just going to have to find a way to bounce back.”
The No. 22 Gamecocks (7-3) were hammered by Florida on Saturday, losing 54-17 to the Gators. South Carolina was so beat up afterward that Holtz, in an unprecedented move, gave his team Monday off.
“I’ve never done that, but I just felt our football players really need it,” he said. “They just need to get away.”
The day off won’t be enough for Kalimba Edwards, who is out for the year with a sprained knee. Edwards, a 6-foot-6, 260-pound linebacker, has been one of South Carolina’s top defenders with two sacks and 79 tackles.
“Losing our pass rusher is going to make it more difficult on the pass defense, which hasn’t been playing well the past couple of weeks,” cornerback Aaron Goodman said.
Holtz hopes to have quarterback Phil Petty back for Saturday’s game. Petty injured his shoulder against Florida.
Playing Clemson may just be what South Carolina needs to get over its ugly loss.
“If you can’t get up for this game and know that you’re going to have to do something to offset everything, then you shouldn’t be here playing football,” Goodman said. “We’re going to have to step up every position, not just the person that replaces Kalimba.”
The Tigers (5-4) have won the last four meetings in the series, including a 16-14 victory last season.
Clemson is coming off a 37-20 loss to Maryland on Saturday. Quarterback Woody Dantzler had one of the worst games of his career, going 11-for-22 for 153 yards and a career-high three interceptions. He rushed for only 30 yards, 62 below his season average.
Dantzler needs 122 rushing yards to become the third player in history to pass for 5,000 yards and rush for 2,500.
Saturday’s game will be the 99th meeting between the teams. Clemson leads the all-time series with South Carolina 59-35-4.
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