Shaw named Gamecocks' starting quarterback

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COLUMBIA — Steve Spurrier is calling a quarterback shuffle for No. 18 South Carolina, with sophomore Connor Shaw replacing inconsistent senior Stephen Garcia.

After hinting at the move since Saturday’s 16-13 loss to Auburn, Spurrier made it official after Monday’s practice.

“As most everyone knows, our quarterback play has not been as good as we hoped, and we’ve got to do something,” he said.

The Gamecocks (4-1, 2-1 Southeastern Confer­ence) seemed set at the position with Garcia, a fifth-year starter who had a breakout year in 2010 as he passed for 3,059 yards and 20 touchdowns in helping the Gamecocks reach their first SEC championship game.

Garcia hasn’t come close to that production this fall. His completion percentage has dropped from 64 percent last year to 51 percent. He’s thrown nine interceptions and just four touchdowns in South Carolina’s first five games.

Garcia was 9 of 23 for 160 yards and two interceptions against an Auburn pass defense that came in ranked last in the SEC.

“It wasn’t that hard a call,” Spurrier said. “At some point, we’ve got to do something to shake up this offense, and this is the first step.”

Garcia has been suspended five times in his college career, including twice this spring.

Spurrier said Garcia took the news well.

“I think he anticipated it,” the coach said.

Garcia was not available to the media after practice.

It’s not the first time this season Spurrier has given Shaw a chance to start. Spurrier ended Garcia’s streak of 28 consecutive starts by opening with Shaw in the first game of the season against East Carolina.

Shaw and the Gamecocks struggled to make plays and, trailing 17-0, Spurrier sent in Garcia. The senior showed his experience in rallying South Carolina to a 56-37 victory.

Spurrier said after beating the Pirates that Garcia was South Carolina’s quarterback. But he realized something had to change after the Auburn loss, when the Gamecocks had a season-low 289 yards of offense, and that led to Shaw.

“This is his game. It’s his opportunity to go play and we think he’s ready,” Spurrier said. “We’re going to find out Saturday.”

Shaw has seen limited action since East Car­o­lina. He thinks he’s prepared for another chance.

“It’s an opportunity I’m willing to take advantage of. I think I’m ready to play,” he said.

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shrimp for breakfast
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shrimp for breakfast 10/04/11 - 12:37 am
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Oh here we go

Oh here we go again.
Spurrier, you sir are an idiot! One reason is that you cannot make a decision and stick with it. Quarterbacks have bad games. You put them under so much pressure that they are inconsistant because they know if they make a mistake you'll pull them like the child that you are.
South Carolina needs to pay off your contract and get rid of you.
I'm a Gamecock and Clemson fan and I can tell you one thing.This year I will be rooting for Clemson to beat you so bad that maybe the powers that be will send you packing. They need to run you and your ego out of the whole dang state.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 10/04/11 - 05:10 am
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I have to agree Garcia is at

I have to agree Garcia is at the point where something has to be done, but so much for Spurrier developing QB's. He puts so much pressure on them it's unreal. Garcia had lots of talent, yet became almost afraid to throw the ball. Anyway....let's hope Shaw can finally get it going. He's the future.

travelp
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travelp 10/04/11 - 06:11 am
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Garcia has been the QB for

Garcia has been the QB for ten years. How much pressure can he be under? Maybe Spurrier should suspend/reinstate him for the 5th or 6th time to wake him up.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 10/04/11 - 06:22 am
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Garcia was a great QB last

Garcia was a great QB last year. It's strange what's happened to him. Maybe his arm is shot like a baseball pitcher? Something had to give and Shaw throws the ball well.

pittsburg
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pittsburg 10/04/11 - 06:50 am
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Same ole lamecocks football.

Same ole lamecocks football. Go Dawgs!!!!!

DowntownJaguar
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DowntownJaguar 10/04/11 - 10:46 am
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How can you be a Clemson fan

How can you be a Clemson fan and South Carolina fan simultaneously? Sounds like you aren't a fan of either. Nevertheless, neither team has really any impact on the national scene....

rmwhitley
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rmwhitley 10/04/11 - 10:55 am
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The season was in jeopardy
Unpublished

The season was in jeopardy when Garcia was re-instated. The Gamecocks are like the Braves; when it matters most they produce the least.

justthefacts
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justthefacts 10/04/11 - 11:04 am
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"Nevertheless, neither team

"Nevertheless, neither team has really any impact on the national scene...."
I guess being ranked in the Top 10 nationally is not proof of impact???

tomcampbell
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tomcampbell 10/04/11 - 11:15 am
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Maybe Steve can rent Terrelle

Maybe Steve can rent Terrelle Pryor for a game or two before his NFL contract really kicks in. I believe he'd work for $300 a game, and maybe a few tattoos thrown in.

j-campbell
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j-campbell 10/04/11 - 01:32 pm
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Pittsburgh, those "lamecocks"

Pittsburgh, those "lamecocks" handled those "Lamedawgs" for the past two years . . . nuff said about that.

Spurrier's personnel management techniques simply baffle me. He acts as though the only way to make a substitution at QB is to throw the one being replaced under the bus -- or better yet put him on the bus and ship him out of town. If a defensive back misses several assignments and gets burned a few times, it's no big deal to put in a replacement. What's the big deal about the QB? He is quoted as saying "it wasn't that hard a call." If it wasn't that hard a call on Monday, it shouldn't have been that hard a call at half-time or in the 3rd or 4th quarters on Saturday. It was painfully obvious to everyone else that a high school kid taken from the stands could not have done worse than Garcia was doing. By the same token, now that this switch has been announced, it is no reason to forget that Garcia exists. He should be rotating his QBs in each game and sticking with the one with the hot hand on a given day. It is not so important who starts the game as it is who finishes the game.

I have said many times that I can understand how every receiver in the country would want to play for him, but I cannot fathom why a first class high school QB would ever want to subject himself to this schizophrenic approach to staffing the QB position.

j-campbell
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j-campbell 10/04/11 - 01:38 pm
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One other thing -- Spurrier

One other thing -- Spurrier should hire North Augusta's Dan Pippen to handle play calling during the game. Pippen knows how to integrate a world-class RB into a predominately passing offense with a first-rate QB and first-rate receivers.

justthefacts
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justthefacts 10/04/11 - 01:44 pm
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When was the last time

When was the last time Spurrier sent a QB to the pros?

Riverman1
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Riverman1 10/04/11 - 02:22 pm
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Danny Weurfuell is the only

Danny Weurfuell is the only one I can think of.

justthefacts
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justthefacts 10/04/11 - 06:31 pm
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River, that is the only one.

River, that is the only one. By contrast, in his first 6 yrs Mark Richt sent three.

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