8/16 USC Preseason Football Practice Report

<b>Columbia, S.C.</b> - The South Carolina Gamecocks had a walk through Saturday morning and then came back with a physical 2.5 hour practice in the afternoon in preparation for the team's second scrimmage of the preseason on Sunday. After the workout, assistant head coach and offensive coordinator Skip Holtz met with the media. Here are some of Skip's comments ...

"Attitude-wise, the team has been outstanding. We are getting better fundamentally. We're still not consistent enough. Right now, if we started a game, we'd have Travelle Wharton and Na'Shan Goddard at the tackles; Jabari Levey and Jonathan Alston at the guards; John Strickland at center; Dondrial Pinkins at quarterback; Kenny Irons at tailback; and Chavez Donnings, Troy Williamson and Taqiy Muhammad at the receivers. Hart Turner is our starter at tight end ... I like our freshmen tailbacks - Demetris Summers and Cory Boyd. They are both very talented. I think you'll see us play three tailbacks ... Our quarterback play has been sporadic. I realize our defense is throwing a lot of things at us right now, but our quarterbacks need to learn how to play better in the pocket. I know Dondrial (Pinkins) can run with the football, but what I want to see is him staying in the pocket and picking out the proper read. Mike Rathe has had the best pocket presence so far this preseason. I didn't think any of the three quarterbacks (Pinkins, Rathe and Bennett Swygert) played at a starting level in the first scrimmage. Tomorrow's scrimmage will be important for all three of those quarterbacks. Sunday's scrimmage will be played more like a game. Those that keep moving the chains are the ones who are going to play the most ... Blake Mitchell (true freshman) is going to be one heck of a quarterback ... Syvelle Newton is doing a nice job at receiver and should help us there this season ... Matthew Thomas has been doing some good things and is on the two-deep. Sometimes he takes the routine catch for granted, but he's had a good camp ... I think we have more playmakers on offense than we've had before. You look at Troy Williamson, Taqiy Muhammad, Matthew Thomas, Kenny Irons, Demetris Summers and Cory Boyd. They all can make some plays. Offensively, I think we have more talent than before. Now, as coaches, what we have to do is give this young and inexperienced offense the confidence to play aggressively and efficiently."

Injury report: OL Jeff Barnes (knee) has been limited; OL Kris Mick (wrist) has been practicing with a soft cast; OL Travelle Wharton returned to practice Saturday after missing Friday afternoon with cramps and a sinus infection; WR Andre Hemphill has an ankle sprain.

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