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Oct. 17, 2004

Columbia, S.C. – Injury update: QB Dondrial Pinkins (bruised right shoulder) is progressing; QB Syvelle Newton (left ankle sprain) was re-examined on Sunday and there wasn’t a great deal of swelling; CB Fred Bennett (right shouler bruise).

o Coach Lou Holtz conducted his media teleconference Sunday. Here are some of his comments: “We’ll work out in shorts on Monday and full pads Tuesday-Thursday. We’ll give them the weekend off. We have a jayvee game scheduled for Sunday against Georgia Military. I’m anxious to see some people play; like (Robert) Pavolic at tight end; (Tyrone) Pinder at wide receiver and Seth Edwards at defensive end. Brett Nichols will play some at quarterback, but both Blake Mitchell and Michael Rathe are eligible to play … I preached to our players and coaches last week that we wanted an error-free football game and that certainly was not what we got. There is really no reason for the turnovers; and I’m being honest. It’s a matter of ball security. I’ve done some things in the past to correct that. I’ll take something out from the old-time book this week. We absolutely must eliminate the turnovers. People who continue to fumble may not play … (on status of Matthew Thomas who was suspended earlier this month for academic reasons) “I met with Matthew last week and he says he has been doing what he was supposed to do academically. I’ll get an update from our academic people. If he’s done everything he was supposed to do, then we could let him come back this week. If we had a game Saturday, he would not play, but we don’t. We’ll have to address it … I actually thought Syvelle’s ankle was broken. The trainer said the swelling wasn’t that bad. He could be back for the Tennessee game. I was impressed with how Syvelle had such a positive influence on the sideline even though he was injured … I can’t say enough about how well Troy Williamson is playing. His performance and leadership have been outstanding … Moe Thompson played one heck of a football game on Saturday. He forced a fumble and recovered one and would have recovered another if he hadn’t thought he was a tight end. Na’Shan Goddard is really providing positive leadership along the offensive line … Dondrial should be able to throw some of the shorter routes in practice on Monday. Hopefully, we can have him back for Tennessee … Michael Rathe is one of the most popular players on our football team and I was so happy for him on Saturday. It was nice to see him step up and make that play. It was a marvelous lesson for all of us; a lesson of attitude and perseverance. Michael has always maintained a positive outlook and I’ve never heard a negative thing spoken by him … We’ve been in this position before the past few years (5-2 record). We addressed that with the football team in the locker room after the game. Tennessee is bringing one of the best teams they’ve had since I’ve been here to Columbia next week. It appears they could have the SEC East locked up. We are well-aware of the situation we find ourselves in.”

o Due to the open date this Saturday, there will be no Lou Holtz press conference on Monday. The next press luncheon will be Monday, Oct. 25 at 12 noon in the Lettermen’s Lounge.

o A listing of USC’s media availability for this week will be forwarded on Monday.