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Oct. 10, 2004

Columbia, S.C. – Injury update: WR Travis Lee (broken finger); C John Strickland (left ankle sprain); QB Dondrial Pinkins (bruised right shoulder). All will be re-evaluated on Monday.

o Coach Lou Holtz conducted his media teleconference Sunday. Here are some of his comments: “Dondrial Pinkins’ shoulder is getting better, but he will not practice tonight. We decided to go ahead and address the Ole Miss game today (Sunday). When you have something like that (31-28 loss), sometimes you are better off burying it and getting it behind you and getting ready for the next game. That’s what we intend to do. It’s also a change and we will give the players Monday off … I don’t want to be critical of the officials, but on some of those long plays that got called back, we gave our players plusses for their performance … We didn’t play well on defense in the first half. We put ourselves in a bind early on. We did come out and play better in the second half … The SEC is such a difficult league. You look at how some of the games turned out Saturday. Ole Miss played us as well as any team we’ve played this year. They were physical and they executed extremely well … Now, we go up to Kentucky and play at their place. Their game with Alabama is 17-14 in the third quarter, then Alabama scored 28 straight points with only about 50 yards of offense. It’s incredible … We didn’t control the line of scrimmage at all against Ole Miss. But, Jabari Levey and Na’Shan Goddard played well. We probably called 7-8 run plays by design for Syvelle. The rest were scrambles to avoid the sack. I thought Syvelle did some good things. He showed some real courage in the pocket. There were several times he got hit helmet to helmet and he didn’t flinch. He did some things he felt he could do. With him, sometimes intuition takes over. There were two instances where we could have come out better. One, was the play right before the half. We were hoping for a quick throw to the end zone and if it didn’t work, we would still have time to try a field goal. Second, was on our last drive when he spiked the ball after the long pass play. We needed him to look over to the sidelines because we had a play already called. I can’t fault him on any of those, though. It’s just some things that he will learn as he goes along. Syvelle is very much an improvisor on offense, yet he plays pretty well within the system … Blake Mitchell did a nice job when he came in and gave us some momentum when we needed it the most. That was with the second team offensive line and that was pretty encouraging … We may have to look at some other options with our punt return. We’re losing some valuable field position. Our average field position against Ole Miss was our 18-yard line and that makes it difficult. (on Dondrial getting back in the lineup when he gets healthy): “We’ll have to see how he comes along. Syvelle has done a pretty nice job. We will keep Dondrial at quarterback.”

o A reminder about Coach Lou Holtz’s press conference on Monday (10/11) at 12 noon in the Lettermen’s Lounge at Williams-Brice Stadium.