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April 5, 2006

Columbia, S.C. – The South Carolina football team held a short and energetic scrimmage at Williams-Brice Stadium Wednesday, with the offensive unit looking much better than it did in last week’s scrimmage, scoring five touchdowns – all through the air – in claiming victory over the defense.

As has been the case for much of the week, quarterback Blake Mitchell took the majority of the snaps, but even though he threw for two touchdowns, he wasn’t the only quarterback to lead a scoring drive, as Cade Thompson threw for a pair of touchdowns and Brett Nichols also connected for a score.

Cory Boyd was on the receiving end of the most spectacular touchdown pass of the day, taking a short pass from Thompson, breaking a couple tackles then changing directions and speeding 57 yards for the score. Fellow running back Mike Davis also hauled in a touchdown pass out of the backfield, taking a short Mitchell pass and heading 28 yards up the left sideline for a touchdown. Nichols got into the act when he connected with Freddie Brown for a 24 yard score. Other touchdown connections included a 36-yard Thompson-to-Robert Pavlovic score and a six-yard Mitchell-to-Kenny McKinley score in the back of the end zone.

McKinley enjoyed a solid all-around scrimmage, hauling in six catches for 96 yards and a touchdown. Boyd added three catches for 93 yards and a touchdown. Mitchell finished the day by completing 16-of-26 passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns. During one stretch of the scrimmage, Mitchell completed nine out of 10 passes for 89 yards and a touchdown.

The highlight of the day on the defensive side of the ball came when safety Chris Hampton picked off a Mitchell pass in the red zone after the ball was tipped near the line of scrimmage.

The Gamecocks return to the practice fields on Friday in what will be the final practice before the annual Garnet and Black Spring Game, which is set to start at 2 p.m. Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium. Admission is five dollars. Children 12 and under and USC students with a valid ID will get in free. The fairgrounds parking lot will open at 10 a.m. Parking will be $5 per vehicle.