USC Passing Offense Hits New High in Holtz's Eyes

USC head coach Lou Holtz said Wednesday that the Gamecock passing game looked better than it has all fall. "We probably threw and caught the ball better today since I've been here," said Holtz. "I don't know what got into the receivers, but as a group, they are starting to come on. The center snaps were good and everything went well in the passing game."

Coach Holtz said that linebacker Kenny Harney (ankle sprain) practiced some on Wednesday. How much he plays Saturday against #24 Georgia is still undetermined. Free safety Deandre' Eiland (ankle) is still questionable and did not practice again Wednesday. Defensive end Willie Sams (knee sprain) is out indefinitely. Tight end Hart Turner (neck stinger) returned to practice Wednesday, as did offensive tackle Melvin Paige (hamstring).

"We've had a good week of preparation," said Holtz. "We're going down to play in front of more than 85,000 fans in a very hostile environment. Our focus has been good. That's all I can ask for at this point in time."

Coach Holtz was high on Georgia's offensive line. "Kevin Breedlove (native of Clemson, SC) is regarded to be the best offensive lineman to ever come out of the state of South Carolina and they have several more just like him."

As far as USC's defensive line depth, Holtz said that several new faces will play a role, including Jonathan Alston, Shaun Smith, Ron John-Finn, Jason Capers and Preston Thorne.

As far as the possibility of Derek Watson returning for his senior season, Holtz said: "You have to prepare for everything and protect yourself for whatever could happen. That's a long ways off. We'll have to weigh the situation at the end of the year and gather as much information as possible. We want what is in Derek's best interests."

Coach Holtz said that junior college receiver Ricky Ricks is slated to have knee surgery in the near future to repair cartilage damage and will be redshirted this season. "Ricky Ricks has a chance to be a big-time player before he leaves here," said Holtz.


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