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March 30, 2003

Columbia, SC –

* USC’s football team split up its practice sessions Sunday, with the offense working for the first 90 minutes and the defense working for the second 90 minutes. Both of the units worked indoors at the Practice Facility. It was primarily a teaching and review session, as corrections were made off of Saturday’s scrimmage film.

* Head coach Lou Holtz met with the media following the defense’s practice and said for the first scrimmage, he was fairly pleased with the results. “For the most part, we did some good things during the scrimmage,” said Holtz. “We’re not able to put together a depth chart yet because we have so many players competing for starting jobs. There were no real disappointments. Fundamentally, we were pretty sound. While we didn’t run the ball like we need to, we were pretty good fundamentally in the run game.”

* Coach Holtz mentioned that defensive ends Moe Thompson and Jason Capers had good performances during Saturday’s scrimmage. Holtz also praised the play of linebacker Ricardo Hurley and safeties Jamacia Jackson and Jermaine Harris.

* On offense, Coach Holtz said that wide receiver Chavez Donnings was coming on and played well in the scrimmage. Coach Holtz said that the starting offensive line as of now would consist of Hart Turner at tight end, Travelle Wharton and Na’shan Goddard at the tackles, John Strickland at center, and Jonathan Alston and Jabari Levey at the guards. Coach Holtz also said that Chad Walker had shown a great deal of improvement and was making a strong case for playing time along the offensive line. “Chad Walker has changed his body shape and really matured into a pretty good football player,” said Holtz.

* Coach Holtz said that the three newcomers on defense – tackle Darrel Shropshire, linebacker Marcus Lawrence and defensive back Fred Bennett – were all making contributions and had worked their way on to the playing field. “Right now, Shropshire is running first team, while Lawrence and Bennett are both running second team,” said Holtz.

*This Tuesday, quarterback Dondrial Pinkins and linebacker Lance Laury will travel to Birmingham, Ala., to be examined by noted sports orthopedist Dr. James Andrews. Pinkins has been bothered with a sore elbow and tests run by doctors in Columbia have been inconclusive. Laury is still bothered by a sore knee, which required surgery last fall. Dr. Andrews is part of USC’s second opinion medical team.

* USC will have the day off on Monday. The team will lift weights on Tuesday before returning to the practice field on Wednesday.