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Oct. 28, 2004

Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina’s football team (5-2/3-2) worked out in shorts Thursday afternoon, as preparations continued for Saturday’s showdown against 11th-ranked Tennessee (6-1/4-1). The two teams will square off at Williams-Brice Stadium with kickoff set for 12:33 p.m. Jefferson Pilot Sports will televise as the SEC Game of the Week.

* Injury update from the Gamecock camp: QB Dondrial Pinkins (bruised rotator cuff) participated full. The trainers say Dondrial’s arm strength has returned to better than 90 percent. Coach Lou Holtz said that he expected Pinkins to be the starter Saturday against UT. QB Syvelle Newton (ankle sprain) was able to go through practice. It is estimated that his ankle is 75%. Newton is expected to play against the Vols … DB Chris Hampton is doubtful for Saturday with a left ankle sprain. WR Travis Lee (broken finger) is questionable for the game.

* Head coach Lou Holtz met with the media following the workout. Here are some of his comments: “We’ve had a good week of practice. It seems like a month since we’ve played. I’ve liked our focus. I couldn’t have asked more from our team these past two weeks. Neither Dondrial or Syvelle are at 100 percent. Dondrial will start because he has gotten most of the work this week. Right now, we need to gather our thoughts, and be ready mentally. We don’t want to be too uptight; but we do want to be ready to play. Hopefully, Syvelle can get better the next 48 hours or so. He’s been sharp mentally and he’s throwing the ball well the past couple of days. We haven’t had much success throwing the ball against Tennessee in the past. I would imagine they (UT) will be geared to stop the run and stop Demetris Summers, especially after the game he had last year in Knoxville. I would think the defenses would dictate the tempo of the game. Tennessee has held Georgia, Ole Miss and Alabama to something like 240 total yards and less than 14 points per game. That’s impressive. Dustin Colquitt (UT’s punter) backed us up inside our five-yard line at last four times last year. He was the difference in that game. The kicking game will be critical. Demetris Summers and Noah Whiteside will return punts. I think we’re going to give a tremendous effort. I just wish Dondrial could give Syvelle his ankle and Syvelle could give Dondrial his shoulder; then we’d have something.”

* The Tennessee game is a complete sellout. A crowd in excess of 81,000 is anticipated. Tennessee sold its allotment of 9,500 tickets. Fans are encouraged to arrive to the stadium early to avoid pregame traffic. The Gamecock Club parking lots will open at 8 a.m.