Spurrier not impressed with top signal callers

COLUMBIA --- South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said he is not ready to name a starting quarterback after Saturday's spring game.


Junior Tommy Beecher led the Black team to a 37-34 win over sophomore Chris Smelley's Garnet team.

Smelley threw five interceptions, going 13-for-30 for 219 yards and three touchdowns, while Beecher threw three picks, going 9-for-20 for 131 yards and one TD.

Spurrier said spring practice has left him hoping that either Smelley or Beecher improve considerably before the fall.

"At some point, one of the quarterbacks has to really show a strong commitment level to really want to be good. Right now, I don't think that any quarterback that we have here knows what really playing well is all about," Spurrier said.

Both Smelley and Beecher said they didn't think the eight interceptions they threw together represented the kind of spring practice they had.

"There were a couple of bad decisions by me. I feel like I played well this spring. It just didn't come together today," Smelley said.

Brian Maddox was the leading rusher with 90 yards on 10 carries, including a 37-yard touchdown run. Matt Clements was the leading receiver with five catches for 68 yards.

Place-kicker Ryan Succop made a 56-yard field goal.

The defense scored twice as they adjust to new defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson. Mike Newton had an 82-yard interception return for a touchdown and Chris Culliver returned a fumble 83 yards for another score.

Culliver did a flip in the end zone after his touchdown, and Spurrier's youngest son, Scottie, caught a 46-yard touchdown pass from Smelley by coming off the bench on to the field during the play. The referees threw a flag for illegal participation.

"That is the first time we have hit the off of the bench play. You see it every spring -- we get him wide open, but usually the quarterback can't get it. Scottie caught it on the run," Spurrier said.



Season opener: Home vs. North Carolina State

SEC opener: In Nashville, Tenn., at Vanderbilt, Sept. 4

Rivalry games: Home vs. Georgia, Sept. 13; In Clemson, S.C., at Clemson, Sept. 29


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