With South Carolina’s opener less than two weeks away, it’s not a matter of if true freshman quarterback Connor Shaw will play in that game, but rather how much he’ll play.
Shaw opened the Gamecocks’ scrimmage Thursday with the first team, and coach Steve Spurrier said afterward that Shaw would definitely play on Sept. 2 against Southern Miss.
Spurrier went on to say that Shaw had outplayed junior Stephen Garcia in the scrimmages this preseason, but the Head Ball Coach still isn’t ready to name a starter.
Let’s face it: Spurrier’s not happy unless there’s at least some drama surrounding the quarterback position.
“We’re planning on both of them playing the first game and go from there," Spurrier said. "Statistically, [Shaw] has been the best quarterback on the team in every scrimmage, so that's where we are with that."
Is anybody really surprised?
Spurrier has been laying the groundwork to play Shaw since the spring. He was no doubt trying to motivate Garcia with some of the things he said about him this offseason, but Spurrier also genuinely likes what he sees in Shaw.
Shaw completed 5 of 8 passes for 111 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions. He also had a 6-yard touchdown run, capping a five-play, 70-yard scoring drive to open the scrimmage. Garcia was 11-of-16 for 113 yards and threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Jarvis Giles. Garcia was also intercepted twice, both times by safety Akeem Auguste.
What's more, Spurrier noted that other than Shaw that the quarterbacks were sacked too much. Spurrier didn't take direct aim at Garcia during his post-scrimmage comments like he did this offseason, but he certainly isn't talking like Garcia is the guy who's going to lead the Gamecocks through this season, either.
"Maybe Stephen will get his act together," Spurrier said.
Here's a report from the scrimmage thanks to the South Carolina sports information staff. It was another productive day for freshman running back Marcus Lattimore, who had a 39-yard run in that opening drive and then scored on a 13-yard run.