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March 23, 2002


South Carolina conducted its first scrimmage of spring practice, as the Gamecocks went through a two-hour session before more than 1,000 fans at Williams-Brice Stadium Saturday afternoon.

The offense showed some big-play ability and the defense displayed some hard-hitting. “The scrimmage today allowed us to evaluate who are athletes are,” said head coach Lou Holtz. “The hitting was good. We’re more physical on offense than we’ve been in the past. I think that’s a plus.”

Coach Holtz thought all of the quarterbacks did some good things, in particular Corey Jenkins and Dondrial Pinkins. “They both can run and they both can throw,” said Holtz. “We feel like we need to have a quarterback who can do both equally well. We lost a lot of talent off of last year’s team, so we’re trying to be more physical this year.”

Corey Jenkins displayed his athleticism during the afternoon’s workout. Jenkins opened the scrimmage completing an 18-yard screen pass to tailback Ryan Brewer. Jenkins then took off on a 40-yard run. He also completed a 14-yard pass to Andrea Gause and hooked up with Brewer again for a 26-yard completion. “We had fun and got some good work done out there today,” said Jenkins. “I thought Dondrial and I took control of the offense and both did some positive things. The guys along the offensive line did a good job opening up holes. I love being physical and I enjoy running the football.”

Pinkins completed a 37-yard pass to Gause and also threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Chavez Donnings. He later connected with Donnings again for a 32-yard gain. “I though I protected the ball well and did what the coaches asked me to do,” said Pinkins. “I’ve been studying a lot of film and working hard to eliminate mistakes.”

Other offensive highlights included quarterback Erik Kimrey completing a 38-yard pass to James Adkisson, Mikal Goodman hitting Adkisson for 35 yards, Gonzie Gray breaking loose for a 48-yard touchdown run, Brewer running for 42 yards, and Kimrey hooking up with wide receiver Ricky Ricks for a 55-yard touchdown and an 18-yard completion.

Big plays on defense were turned in by cornerback Teddy Crawford, who returned an interception 72 yards for a touchdown, some hard hits by linebacker Lance Laury, and an interception by Rachiem Monroe. Newcomer Jermaine Harris, a junior college defensive back transfer who just started practicing this week, also showed signs of promise playing safety.

Coach Holtz said he was generally pleased with the performance of the team. “I’m as pleased as I can be after the first scrimmage,” said Holtz. “Some of the runningbacks, particularly Gonzie Gray and Thez Robinson, showed some good signs. Gonzie has good speed and surprising quickness and toughness.”

Offensive coordinator Skip Holtz said he wanted to study the film before making any evaluations of the quarterback play. “We did some positive things, but we had too many penalties,” said Skip. “I think all of our quarterbacks did some good things. It’s time to start pulling things together and begin to whittle down some of the numbers at the quarterback position.”

The only new injury to report was a knee bruise suffered by defensive end Jason Capers.

USC returns to the practice field Monday of next week. The practice is closed. Head coach Lou Holtz will speak to the media following practice at approximately 6 p.m. in the press room behind the lobby of the football building.