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Oct. 18, 2004

Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina’s football team (5-2/3-2) returned to the practice field Monday evening, working out in shorts for more than 90 minutes. The Gamecocks are idle this weekend before hosting the nationally ranked Tennessee Volunteers, Saturday, Oct. 30 at Williams-Brice Stadium. Jefferson Pilot Sports will televise that game with kickoff set for 12:30 p.m.

* Injury update from the Gamecock camp: QB Dondrial Pinkins (bruised shoulder) did some limited throwing Monday evening. Afterwards Pinkins said his shoulder was feeling better. “I was able to go through our pass skel and threw down the field a few times. I’d say the longest ball I threw was 35 yards. My shoulder felt pretty good. I’m hoping it feels pretty good on Tuesday. The coaches want me to let them know how it’s feeling. Hopefully, I can be ready by the Tennessee game.” … QB Syvelle Newton (ankle sprain) did not practice and is not expected to this week. He is still on crutches and in a walking boot. Said Newton: “I’ve been doing a lot of rehab and am staying off my ankle as much as possible. They (the doctors) don’t want me to put much pressure on it. I’ll be watching film and getting mentally prepared this week. Maybe by Thursday I can do some light jogging. I’m going to do my best to be back for Tennessee.” …DT Stanley Doughty (neck strain) did not practice but could return by Wednesday … CB Fred Bennett (shoulder bruise) was able to practice … WR Travis Lee (broken finger) did not practice and is out for right now … OL Kris Mick (wrist) returned to practice.

* Junior Josh Brown was named the SEC Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance in the win over Kentucky. Brown connected on both of his field goal attempts (43/20), with the 43-yarder being a career long. He also punted once for 56 yards, which is his longest punt of this season. It is the second time this year Brown has been honored by the SEC.

* Dondrial Pinkins says it’s a blessing that the Gamecocks are deep at quarterback this year. “My first couple of years it was just me and Phil Petty. Then it was me and Corey Jenkins. Now, we have four quarterbacks who can contribute. I felt real comfortable watching the game the other night when Mike Rathe went in. Mike prepares well and I had confidence in him. I was happy for him.”

* Michael Rathe said Monday afternoon that the feeling still hadn’t fully sunk in that he had thrown the game-winning touchdown pass last Saturday night at Kentucky. His 19-yard TD toss to Troy Williamson lifted USC to a 12-7 win over the Wildcats in Lexington. “I talked with my family back in California and they were all excited,” said Rathe. “They saw the game on TV and they said my brother was pacing the floor when I went into the game. They said they almost tore the house down when we scored that touchdown. Honestly, I don’t even remember making the throw. I just remember seeing Troy catch the ball in the corner of the end zone and I went sprinting down there to congratulate him. It was an awesome feeling; one that I’ll always be able to keep with me.”

* Wide receiver Matthew Thomas, who was suspended for academic reasons earlier this month, was back at practice Monday evening. Thomas missed the Ole Miss and Kentucky games and has not practiced since the week of the Alabama game. (Oct. 2).

* For the media — there is no player availability Tuesday afternoon. Head coach Lou Holtz will be available to the media after practice in the lobby of the football building at approximately 6:45 p.m.