RALEIGH, N.C. — The last time Lou Holtz coached a game at Carter-Finley Stadium, he was on the other side of the field, taking on a team wearing a deeper shade of red than the Wolfpack.
A Holtz-led North Carolina State team beat South Carolina in his final home game as coach in November 1975 before a one-year stint in the NFL.
Four teams, 24 years, one national championship, 170 college wins and a two-year commentating career later, Holtz returned Saturday as the Gamecocks' coach, opening the season at North Carolina State with a 10-0 loss.
"It's disappointing, but it's a start," Holtz said, dodging most questions about his return to coaching. "Right up until the last seconds, we thought we had a chance."
South Carolina fumbled the ball eight times and converted only eight of 18 third downs.
"We are really not a team that moves the ball as well as I'd like," Holtz said.
Despite the loss, South Carolina fans were patient and willing to wait for success.
"We love him. We're glad he's here," said Gamecock fan Dick Childress.
The Wolfpack (2-0) recorded its first shutout since 1991, winning the game with just six first downs and 96 yards of offense.