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Aug. 18, 2002

Columbia, SC –

* USC’s depth at quarterback took a major hit Sunday, when two Gamecock quarterbacks went down with injuries during the team’s two-hour scrimmage at Williams-Brice Stadium. Dondrial Pinkins, a redshirt sophomore who was running #2, fractured his left ankle. Pinkins was to have a CT-scan performed later on Sunday to determine the full extent of his injury, however, he is expected to be out at least four weeks, perhaps even the entire season, depending on the nature of the injury. Bennett Swygert, a true freshman who was battling for the #3 spot, re-injured his left knee, the same knee that he had surgery on at the end of his senior season at Summerville (S.C.) High School. Swygert will have an MRI done on his knee Monday, at which time the full extent of his injury should be known.

* “I don’t know if I’ve ever been involved in a scrimmage that had so many serious injuries,” said head coach Lou Holtz. “But, as I told the team after the scrimmage, God works in funny ways. All of this will make us stronger as a team. I’ve never been through a crisis that didn’t make me stronger. I told the team before camp started, that we would have a minimum of three crisis we would go through as a team. I suppose the good news is that we only have two left.”

* Other injuries to report include: linebacker Kevin Caldwell (possible torn ligaments in knee); offensive lineman Chad Walker (foot sprain); tailback/wide receiver Andrea Gause (bruised jaw, will have further tests on Monday).

* Coach Holtz said at this point, he’s uncertain what will take place at the quarterback position. Senior Corey Jenkins is entrenched as the starter, however, with the injuries to Pinkins and Swygert, the backup positions are less settled. Senior Erik Kimrey is a likely candidate. Other possibilities include true freshman Aryhel Freeman, redshirt sophomore Rod Wilson, who has previously played quarterback but is working at spur now; and senior Mikal Goodman, likewise a former quarterback who is playing receiver. “I’m really not sure what we are going to do at quarterback,” said Coach Holtz. “I just don’t know. Our placekicker (Daniel Weaver) is not kicking that good right now, but our punter is (Tyeler Dean), so we may wind up punting on first or second down.”

* Coach Holtz said it was a typical scrimmage, with a lot of hard-hitting by the defense, but way too many turnovers and penalties by the offense. A long touchdown run by Andrew Pinnock was called back due to an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty by the offense.

* Cornerback Dunta Robinson had a stellar afternoon, returning an interception thrown by Pinkins 54 yards for a touchdown. Robinson also broke up two passes.

* Coach Holtz said that tailback/receiver Ryan Brewer and running back Andrew Pinnock had impressive performances during the scrimmage. Holtz also applauded the offensive line for their solid showing.

* One area that Coach Holtz expressed concern over was the play of the receivers. “We’re trying hard there, but we’re not blocking well and we’re not catching the ball well. We’ve got to get that resolved.”

* Freshman offensive lineman Chris White (neck) received a good report from the doctors over the weekend and has been cleared to resume conditioning. Freshman offensive tackle Stephen Sene (back spasms) likewise has had his condition upgraded.

* Highlights from Sunday’s scrimmage included: Andrew Pinnock ripped off a 28-yard run early in the scrimmage; linebacker Ricardo Hurley recovered a fumble; Corey Jenkins hit Matthew Thomas for a 34-yard gain; Daniel Weaver connected on a 36-yard field goal; Terrell Davis sacked the quarterback; Corey Jenkins connected with Andrew Pinnock for a 22-yard completion; Weaver hit a 37-yard field goal; Derrick Ray had an interception; Corey Jenkins completed a 28-yard pass to Kenny Irons; Jenkins hit James Adkisson for a 28-yard touchdown play.


* Assistant head coach and offensive coordinator Skip Holtz will meet with the media following the afternoon practice at approximately 6:15 p.m. in the press room behind the football office lobby.