Player of the week: SEC

Is there a tougher player in the SEC than South Carolina’s Connor Shaw? The senior quarterback wasn’t expected to play Saturday at Missouri after he sprained his knee the week before. To make matters worse, Shaw came down with a stomach virus before the game. He still made the trip to Columbia, Mo., and coach Steve Spurrier is glad he did.

Through three quarters, the Gamecocks had yet to score with Dylan Thompson under center. That’s when Spurrier turned to Shaw -- sick, injured and all. The South Carolina star delivered yet again for the Head Ball Coach.

Shaw went 14 of 18 for 168 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter alone as the Gamecocks rallied from 17 down to tie the game. He added another touchdown in the first overtime, and by the end of the game, he had accumulated more than 200 yards through the air.

He came in sick and injured, not expecting to play. He left on his teammates’ shoulders, hoisting the “The Mayor’s Cup,” given to the winner in the “Battle of Columbia.”

It was a legendary performance from Shaw, but it’s not the first time he has played through injury. Earlier this season, he was doubtful for the Kentucky game with an injured shoulder but played and played well. He finished 17 of 20 for 262 yards and a touchdown against the Wildcats. He also rushed for 50 yards and a score despite the bum shoulder.

On the year, Shaw has now thrown for more than 1,500 yards with 14 touchdowns and just one interception. He has rushed for 389 yards and three scores.

More importantly, South Carolina is back in contention for the SEC East crown. Missouri still holds a game advantage, but a trip to Ole Miss later in the year and a matchup with Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M to finish the season could be troublesome for the Tigers. One loss and there could be a three-way tie with the Gamecocks and the winner of this weekend’s Florida-Georgia game.

Regardless of what happens to South Carolina, this is Shaw’s team.