Inexperienced Line Set To Do Battle Saturday

USC head football coach Lou Holtz called Tuesday's practice ''frustrating,'' as the Gamecocks worked some inexperienced players along the offensive line due to injuries. While tackles Travelle Wharton and Watts Sanderson were able to practice, both starting guards -- Cedric Williams and Shane Hall -- were unable to participate. Both are recovering from neck and shoulder injuries they suffered in last week's 20-14 victory at Vanderbilt. ''We're having to play a lot of young players along the ...

... offensive line now because of the injuries," said Holtz. "I didn't see a whole lot of positive things out there today. The timing was off, the young backs didn't run that well, and our young receivers didn't have a particularly good day. I can't believe there's anything bad that I didn't see. But, I'm sure after I look at the film, there will be some positives." ¥ Due to the injuries, sophomore Chad Walker and freshman Jon Hall have also been working at guard. Chris Tucker, who has been playing defense, even took some snaps at guard.
Linebacker Lance Laury, who underwent arthroscopic surgery Monday to repair a cartilage in his left knee, was at practice on crutches. USC's leading tackler could be out anywhere from 3-5 weeks. Center C.J. Frye, who likewise had knee surgery on Monday, was also up and about at the stadium late Tuesday afternoon. He is expected to be out 3-5 weeks, as well.
With all the injuries to the offensive line, Coach Holtz said this is the worst time for his team to have to face a Joe Lee Dunn defense that Carolina will encounter this Saturday against Mississippi State. "Joe Lee will bring people from all over at all times," said Holtz. "It can cause a lot of disruption. It will be next to impossible for all of the young linemen to pick up everything. Then, to complicate matters, if we do happen to get (Cedric) Williams and (Shane) Hall back, they will have missed some valuable practice time."
Coach Holtz also said that linebacker Darel Slay injured his shoulder during Tuesday's workout, but is expected to be okay. "I'm sure he will get hit a lot harder than he got hit out there today," said Holtz.
Saturday's game, which is Homecoming, will kick off at 1 p.m. Due to the State Fair, fans are encouraged to arrive to the stadium area earlier, to avoid traffic and parking congestion.

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