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Aug. 27, 2002

Columbia, SC –

* As the season opener draws nearer, the 22nd-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks are starting to have some of their banged up players getting better. Fullback Andrew Pinnock, who missed the majority of practice last week with a bruised shoulder, returned to the practice field Monday evening and also practice again Tuesday. While freshman Daccus Turman still could get the starting nod, Pinnock is expected to play a key role. Tailback Ryan Brewer, who is coming off of corrective ankle surgery, was able to make it through the entire practice on Tuesday. Quarterback Corey Jenkins received the majority of the reps during Tuesday’s practice and doesn’t appear to be nervous as he prepares for his first start at South Carolina.

* Head coach Lou Holtz said the Gamecock defense has dominated during preseason camp. “A lot of times, that happens, with the defense dominating during camp,” said Coach Holtz. “I think people will enjoy watching our defense play. We’ve developed more depth along the defensive line than I had anticipated. Many of the younger players are really coming on — like Ricardo Hurley, Darel Slay, Moe Thompson. It’s an exciting group to watch and coach.”

* Coach Holtz said the team did a lot of inside work against one another during Tuesday’s two-hour workout. “Are we a tired team? I don’t think so,” said Holtz. “Are we in good condition? I think we are, but you walk a fine line. You don’t want to take a tired team into the opener.”

* When asked about the return specialists, Coach Holtz reeled off several names that could be likely candidates. “Ryan Brewer is dependable in those areas and will be back there returning kicks in some fashion,” said Coach Holtz. “(Jared) Farabee, (Chavez) Donnings, (James) Adkisson and maybe even Dunta Robinson could also be used. We are going to look at a lot of different people. All of these players look comfortable catching punts during practice. Will they during games?”

* Coach Holtz said that junior college cornerback Taqiy Muhammad had good quickness and is always around the football. “It takes a different mentality to play cornerback,” said Holtz. “You’re out there on an island. Taqiy doesn’t seem to mind that aspect of it. I expect our corners to step out. I don’t anticipate a drop-off in play there”

* Coach Holtz said that senior wide receiver James Adkisson had really come on the past few days. “James had a good scrimmage last week and has played well the last few practices,” said Holtz. “He doesn’t need to think about catching the ball … just go out there and do it.”

* When asked about the group of offensive linemen that had molded into one of the team’s strong points, Coach Holtz said: “Offensive linemen are usually the most organized players on your team and they marry earlier. Now, defensive linemen, they usually have motorcycles, wear beards and are often out until 3 in the morning.”