Thursday was a happy day in the Lou Holtz household. Beth Holtz, wife of South Carolina head…
USC Preseason Football Practice Report
* Coach Holtz highlighted the play of senior tight end Hart Turner ("he's playing exceptionally well right now") along with the first team offensive line. The coach was not impressed with the performance of the wide receivers and he said that running back Daccus Turman didn't get the ball enough. Holtz said the offense had too many foolish penalties and gave up too many sacks.
* Coach Holtz said it would take the next two weeks of practice for the defense to develop like he wants it to, however, the coach said that many of that unit's mistakes are correctable. "We're not physical enough, but on the other hand, we are not afraid, either," said Holtz. Coach Holtz thought the cornerbacks played well, including Dunta Robinson and Isaac Stackhouse. "I thought Isaac Stackhouse performed better than he's ever performed here," said Coach Holtz. "The safeties didn't play particularly well, but that will improve."
* Coach Holtz said that he wants to have at least six offensive linemen he can count on. "Jeff Barnes can play a variety of positions," said Holtz. "He was our swing player there last year. Jabari Levey has been handling that role during preseason camp so far, but we'll have to see. Chad Walker has really improved, but he snapped one over the quarterback's head during the scrimmage that cost us 31 yards. He will eliminate that, though."
* Coach Holtz said that Dondrial Pinkins continues to establish himself as the starting quarterback. "We will not have a quarterback controversy here," said Coach Holtz. "We will have a #1 quarterback, but we will always play two. Why? Because you don't want to go seven games into the season, lose your starting quarterback and not have someone ready to play."
* Coach Holtz was impressed with the talent displayed by some of his freshmen, including tailback Demetris Summers and quarterback Syvelle Newton. "Demetris needs to learn the offense, but that will come with time," said Holtz. "He has deceptive moves, great pad level, great acceleration an excellent vision. He may only weight 204 or 205 pounds right now, but before it's all said and done, he will play at 217 or 218 later in his career. He's a player. Syvelle Newton has that extra burst of speed. I plan on keeping him at quarterback. Skip (Holtz) said Syvelle came to him and asked him about playing wide receiver, but he hasn't come to me about it yet. If he does, we will have a conversation. But, I like him as a quarterback. He and Blake Mitchell are very talented."
* Coach Holtz is scheduled to travel to Jacksonville, Fla., early Thursday morning to be with his wife, Beth, who had a series of tests run on Wednesday at the Mayo Clinic.
* Injury update: There were no new injuries to report. Still out on Wednesday were offensive lineman Kris Mick (wrist), wide receiver Aryel Freeman (arm), offensive lineman Chris White (neck strain), defensive lineman Chris Tucker (foot), defensive lineman Brandon Schweitzer (knee).
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