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QB debate ends for So. Car. fans

Dondrial Pinkins will get the first snap at quarterback for South Carolina against Troy, but coach Lou Holtz promised that backup Syvelle Newton will see his share of action.

The decision ended the wildest week of debate among Gamecock football supporters in quite some time. The question arose when Pinkins was slowed by a shoulder injury from a hit he took in South Carolina's 20-16 loss to Georgia. He couldn't throw much in practice getting ready for South Florida and Holtz tabbed Newton, a sophomore, to make his first start.

Newton responded with the flashiest debut in Gamecock quarterback history, throwing for 324 yards and connecting on three long touchdowns to Troy Williamson in a 34-3 win over the Bulls.

Almost before the ink dried on the "Gamecocks Win" headlines, Holtz was bombarded with the question _ would Newton start again?

Not this week.

The only doubt that surfaced was a soreness in Pinkins foot. An MRI was done and it was determined Pinkins had what Holtz called a stress reaction. Pinkins was fine during Thursday's practice.

Pinkins had his moments this season. He looked strong and authoritative in leading South Carolina to a 31-6 victory in the opener at Vanderbilt. He connected on a long touchdown to Williamson as the Gamecocks led Georgia 16-0, but wore out against the Bulldogs defense.

GEORGIA TECH: Starting cornerback Dennis Davis will miss the rest of the season after having surgery on his right shoulder.

Davis originally injured the shoulder in a Sept. 11 victory over Clemson. He had offseason surgery on his left shoulder.

Coach Chan Gailey said sophomore Kenny Scott, who had been sharing time with Davis, will become the full-time starter.

LSU: Louisiana State spent the fall looking for a quarterback.

Three games into the season, the Tigers still haven't found him. And while they are at it, they would also like to find their passing game, the running game, and the big offensive line that makes it all click.

"I think it's coming," said tackle Andrew Whitworth. "Everyone knows what they have to do. Everyone's trying. We just have to make it work as a team. We have to get it all together, then we'll be okay."

LSU's offensive struggles were most notable against Auburn when a touchdown and a field goal were all the No. 13 Tigers could put up.

The passing game struggled, producing only 168 yards, with freshman JaMarcus Russell completing 8 of 19 and Marcus Randall 4 of 9. Russell had an interception. Randall had a touchdown.

But neither quarterback could consistently move the team or come up with a big play when needed.

Randall was named the starter going into the season. When he struggled in the opener, Russell came on. Coach Nick Saban liked the maturity of Randall, a fifth-year senior, and the arm of Russell, a redshirt freshman, and decided to use both.

It's a practice he would now like to end, but has not been able to.

SAN DIEGO STATE: Running back Lynell Hamilton, who seriously injured his leg last November, will sit out this season.

Hamilton rushed for 1,087 yards in 2003 and was named the Mountain West Conference freshman of the year. He joined Marshall Faulk as the only SDS players to rush for more than 1,000 yards as freshmen.