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Aug. 23, 2002

Columbia, SC –

* USC’s football team went through a two-hour scrimmage Friday evening at Williams-Brice Stadium in preparation for its season opener Aug. 31 against New Mexico State in Columbia. The scrimmage was more like a dress rehearsal, as the team covered a variety of game-like situations. They worked on kickoffs, punts, punting from their own end zone, and having the offense work from their own one-yard line.

* Several big plays were turned in by quarterback Corey Jenkins, who was sharp during the scrimmage. Jenkins, a senior from Columbia, hit Thez Robinson on an eight-yard touchdown pass early in the scrimmage. He later connected with James Adkisson on a 75-yard touchdown bomb. Troy Williamson, a true freshman wide receiver from Aiken, was on the receiving end of two touchdown passes, including a 32-yard reception. Freshman fullback Daccus Turman scored on a two-yard run early in the scrimmage.

* One of the bright spots of the scrimmage was that there were no new injuries to report. The offense didn’t turn the ball over, either, which pleased head coach Lou Holtz. The coach wasn’t pleased with the kicking game, however, and thought the defense was lackadaisical. “I was very disappointed in the kicking game,” said Coach Holtz. “We didn’t punt well, we didn’t return well and we didn’t place kick well. It was also the most unimpressive performance I’ve seen from our defense during preseason camp. They looked like they were a step slow. In fact, the entire team looked like they were running on empty. I think we have gotten about as much as we could from them during two-a-days.”

* Coach Holtz was pleased with the performance of the receivers. “James Adkisson was impressive,” said Coach Holtz. “Troy Williamson caught a couple of deep balls. Corey Taylor did some nice things. The entire group blocked much better today.”

* The team will study the film Saturday morning and then go through a corrective practice session without pads. Sunday is a day off for the players. “They will have about 48 hours away from football, so hopefully they can get recharged and be ready to go again on Monday,” said Coach Holtz.

* Coach Holtz said that last year’s team was certainly filled with many more veterans than this year’s squad, but he is pleased with the attitude. “We may not be very good right now, but I really enjoy being around this group,” said Holtz. “They are a fun group. I’m a perfectionist and I’m never really comfortable heading into a season. We’ve got a lot to improve upon, but we’re playing hard and I think we will be fun to watch.”

note — There will be no media availability on Saturday or Sunday. The next media availability will be this Monday at 12 noon in the Lettermen’s Lounge at Williams-Brice Stadium with Coach Holtz’s press conference. A minimum of two Gamecock starters will also be made available after the press conference at 1 p.m.