Eric Norwood summed it up nicely for the USC defense. Well, not exactly nicely.
"We're not satisfied, because we lost. But ..." the Gamecocks star linebacker said, his voice trailing off. "There's no way to put it. We might've played good at times, but when you lose, it still sucks."
Yes, the Gamecocks defense had its share of the blame for a 24-14 loss to No. 1 Florida. Especially at the outset of the game, when the Gators scored on their first three possessions.
After that, however, the Gamecocks clamped down. And the final stats showed that.
Florida finished the game with 339 offensive yards, 100 below its average. It had 140 rushing, also 100 below its average, which led the SEC.
The best news might have been the return of co-captain Cliff Matthews, who recovered quicker than expected from a shoulder injury that forced him to miss last week's game at Arkansas.
Matthews played mostly in pass situations, and recorded his sixth sack of the season.
The other defensive end, Clifton Geathers, had USC's other sack and 4.5 tackles for-loss.
Even late in the game, when Florida seemed about to punch it in and expand on its 24-14 lead, the defense stopped Tim Tebow behind the line. That forced a short field goal attempt, which missed.
So what happened at the start of the game?
Ellis Johnson, USC's assistant head coach for defense, said Florida surprised with different run plays, attacking the weakside more than expected.
"It took me too long to kind of believe what they were doing ... and by the time we got adjusted we'd given up two long drives," Johnson said.
Those two drives were the second and third ones, which netted a touchdown and field goal. The first one was a matter of blown coverage: Receiver Riley Cooper got behind cornerback Stephon Gilmore, and USC safety Chris Culliver failed to pick him up, resulting in a 68-yard touchdown pass from Tebow.
"They had good field position all night and the defense responded," Geathers said. "We made some big plays, and we made some bad mistakes."
It was left to Johnson to provide the most complimentary words. He was impressed by how his group, so young and inexperienced in spots, came back from the first Florida three drives.
"From a character standpoint and from an effort standpoint, those type things, obviously these kids have really got something to them," Johnson said.