Spurrier: Shaw will start for South Carolina against Missouri

Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012 1:52 PM
Last updated 8:03 PM
  • Follow Latest News

COLUMBIA — There’s no controversy for South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier, not concerning the status of starting quarterback Connor Shaw or the Southeastern Conference’s suspension of safety D.J. Swearinger.

Back | Next
South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw took another big hit to his right shoulder during the Gamecocks' game against Alabama-Birmingham. Shaw, who first injured the shoulder in the season opener against Vanderbilt, did not play the second half.  FILE/SIDELINE CAROLINA
South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw took another big hit to his right shoulder during the Gamecocks' game against Alabama-Birmingham. Shaw, who first injured the shoulder in the season opener against Vanderbilt, did not play the second half.

Spurrier said Tuesday that Shaw would start Saturday when the seventh-ranked Gamecocks (3-0, 1-0 SEC) face Misssouri. He also didn’t take too much issue with the league’s one-game suspension of Swearinger for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Alabama-Birmingham’s Patrick Hearn last week.

“Five, 10 years ago, they would call that ‘it’s part of football,’ but it’s not,” Spur­rier said of Swearinger’s hit.

Freshman T.J. Gurley will start for Swearinger, who had a 65-yard fumble return touchdown in the 49-6 victory over UAB.

“We’re going to miss one of our brothers out there,” Gamecocks linebacker Shaq Wilson said. “But our defense is 11 people to the ball. We just have to go out there and be able to communicate, keep guys positive.”

Spurrier said Shaw will bring plenty of positives to South Carolina’s offense, despite the injury to his right shoulder. The quarterback was first hurt in the Gamecocks’ opener against Vanderbilt last month. He missed the next game, a 48-10 win over East Carolina, before starting against the Blazers. Shaw took another big hit on his shoulder right in the UAB game before halftime and did not return for the second half.

Shaw said afterward he had a hairline fracture in the shoulder.

Dylan Thompson has thrown for 507 yards and five touchdowns in relief of Shaw the past two games. Still, Spurrier said Shaw is ready to play against the Tigers (2-1, 0-1).

“Connor Shaw was throwing the ball around very well” Monday night, Spurrier said. “He’ll start. He’s fine. If there’s a place for Dylan to come in the game and help us try to beat Missouri, we’ll certainly consider that.”

Despite the injury, Shaw rushed for 92 yards against Vanderbilt and led the game-clinching touchdown drive in South Carolina’s 17-13 victory.

Shaw, perhaps worried about his injured shoulder, rushed only five times against UAB. Spurrier acknowledged without that dimension, the Gamecocks’ offense won’t be as good. Spurrier also won’t alter the game plan to protect Shaw’s shoulder.

Spurrier brushed aside any growing quarterback debate over Shaw and Thompson among the players. The two QBs are good friends who’ve always showed a team-first attitude, Spurrier said.

“I hope Connor feels, ‘Hey, Dylan can play. If I’m not doing very well, if I’m hurting a little bit, Dylan can help us go in there and win the game,’” Spurrier said “So, I think both of them hopefully feel pretty good about each other. Maybe the team is a little stronger because we have two quarterbacks who can play.”

Missouri has some quarterback issues of its own.

Tigers’ starter James Franklin sat out Missouri’s 24-20 victory over Arizona State last week with inflammation in his shoulder. Franklin has said he’s 90 percent certain he’ll play in Missouri’s first-ever SEC road game.

“Anybody that questions James Franklin’s toughness, they have to have been in a coma for the last two years,” Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said. “He’s one of the toughest athletes I’ve ever been around.”

Spurrier expects to see Franklin on the field for Missouri.

Franklin won’t have to worry about Swearinger, who’s had nine tackles and an interception to go along with his fumble recovery this year. The SEC determined Monday Swearinger’s hit on UAB’s Hearn was a “flagrant and dangerous act,” worthy of the one-game suspension.

Spurrier took the high road about the incident.

“We’re going to live with it and D.J. will be ready next week,” the coach said. “He’ll be with us on the sideline. He’ll be a good teammate and hopefully help the guys that are on the field.”

Comments (5) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Just My Opinion
Just My Opinion 09/18/12 - 03:28 pm
So, what do y'all Carolina

So, what do y'all Carolina fans think about this? Is this one game against Missouri important enough for Spurrier to risk his starting QB getting hurt AGAIN? Maybe Steve is more worried about Missouri than he's letting on.

rmwhitley 09/18/12 - 05:17 pm
I'm a Gamecock fan

and I can assure y'all that Mr. Spurrier takes ALL games seriously. He also tells them to stay out of jail.

pittsburg 09/19/12 - 07:05 am
He better be worried. The

He better be worried. The Shamecocks are overrated. The ole ball coach is crying.

etlinks 09/19/12 - 09:11 am
Concern for Shaw.

How many games is it going to take to get Shaw really rested and healed? He will take a licking again and may not be so lucky next time. Missouri will test it often. This will be a real test to see what kind of team we have. Spurrier ,the doctors and Shaw know more about this situation than anyone commenting on this thread so we will just have to wait and see. Pittsburg... sticks and stones, what wonderful team do you support?

Riverman1 09/19/12 - 09:24 am
They Are Better with Thompson at QB

Connor Shaw is a gutsy performer, but he doesn't read defenses well when forced to pass. Possibly because of his running ability he doesn't pick up on things fast enough to see the open receiver and make the good pass. He is always looking to run. Thompson can run a little, but he is primarily the pro-style passer. Look at what's happened when he's in the game. I suspect he comes in the game early and plays a lot. Shaw will eventually be the wildcat only QB.

justthefacts 09/19/12 - 09:54 pm
I don't know river

Thompson looked awful against Vandy. Shaw came in and gutted out the win. If he doesn't, the cocks would be 0-1 in the SEC.

Back to Top
Search Augusta jobs