White Squad Defeats Garnet 21-13 In USC Spring Gam

Both Dondrial Pinkins and Mike Rathe threw for over 200 yards and two USC receivers recorded more than 100 yards receiving as the White team defeated the Garnet team, 21-13, in USC's spring football game at Williams-Brice Stadium ...

With the White team clinging to an eight-point lead on the game's final play, Rathe tried to complete an end zone pass to Troy Williamson, but it fell incomplete to preserve the win for the White.

Pinkins completed 16-of-24 attempts on the afternoon for 212 yards, 149 of which went to Taqiy Muhammad on seven receptions. Rathe connected on 18-of-30 passes for 229 yards including a 52-yard third quarter scoring strike to Williamson, who totaled seven catches for 122 yards in the game.

Kenny Irons led all rushers, gaining 99 yards on 19 carries, including a 37-yard scamper.

The Garnet team opened the scoring when Rathe reached the end zone on a five-yard keeper late in the second quarter, capping a 14-play, 74-yard drive for a 7-0 lead. On the ensuing drive, Gonzie Gray scored on a three-yard run as the White team answered to knot the score at seven just before halftime.

Williamson's 52-yard reception came on the opening drive of the second-half, giving the Garnet a 13-7 advantage less than two minutes into the third quarter. The White squad again responded on the game's next drive by marching 80 yards over 12 plays covering nearly eight minutes to take a 14-13 lead on Pinkins' one-yard touchdown run.

Daccus Turman extended the White team advantage to 21-13 when he scored on a run from nine yards out early in the fourth quarter.

Honorary coaches for the game honored two of the Midlands military installations as representatives from Ft. Jackson of Columbia coached the Garnet squad and the White team was led by representatives from Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter.

The Gamecocks have two practices remaining on their spring schedule, Sunday, April 13 and Thursday, April 17.

POST-GAME QUOTES FROM HEAD COACH LOU HOLTZ: "I thought for 12 practices, we had a pretty competitive game today. As far as the quarterbacks, I thought Dondrial Pinkins was excellent. Mike Rathe has done some good things and made some good decisions after only 12 practices in our program. Defensively, I thought we gave up too many big plays. I don't know how tough we are and I don't know how good we are at linebacker. Some of the linebackers we thought would be starting for us have been hurt all spring. We limited what we did on defense today and did not blitz that much. We did deflect a lot of passes, more than we've deflected over the past couple of years. It was a good spring game, considering we had such a physical practice on Friday. I hope you people are happy that we threw to the tight end. I've got to start going to make some Gamecock Club talks and they'll be glad we threw to the tight end. Taqiy Muhammad gives us excitement and enthusiasm at the wide receiver position. I love his attitude and effort. I thought our running backs proved they can run the ball in this league. I am much more comfortable with our quarterback situation than I was at the beginning of spring practice."

SPRING GAME AWARDS: Steve Sisk Award (Best blocker on the 2002 team and named after a former player that died on the practice field in 1969.) - Travelle Wharton

Ernest Brooks Award (The USC MVP of the 2002 Clemson game and named after a longtime Gamecock Club member.) - Troy Williamson

Joe Morrison Memorial Awards (The offensive and defensive MVP of 2003 Spring Practice.) - Hart Turner (Offense), George Gause and Moe Thompson (Defense)

Toughness Award - Jonathan Alston (Offense) and Ricardo Hurley (Defense)

Effort Award - Daccus Turman and Taqiy Muhammad (Offense) and Marcus Lawrence (Defense)

Attitude Award - Andy Boyd (Offense) and Rodriques Wilson (Defense)

Maturity Award - Chavez Donnings (Offense) and Jason Capers (Defense)

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