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Garcia benched as Spurrier tabs Shaw as QB starter

Garcia Shaw

Following yet another abysmal performance under center by Stephen Garcia, Steve Spurrier strongly hinted that a change at the position could be coming sooner rather than later.

Monday evening, the hint became a reality as Spurrier announced he has pulled the trigger on another quarterback change, with Connor Shaw replacing Garcia against Kentucky this weekend.  And, barring injury, Spurrier’s intention, at least for now, is to allow the sophomore to go the distance against the Wildcats.

“This is his game, it’s his opportunity to go play and we think he’s ready,” Spurrier said in quotes distributed by the team. “We’re going to find out Saturday. Connor had a good practice tonight and, as most everyone knows, our quarterback play has not been as good as we hoped. We’ve got to do something. Maybe some other positions we’re looking at also.

“We’re looking forward to the game against Kentucky. I just ask all the Gamecock fans to give Connor your support the same way you have all the others players here. I think he’s ready to play well. It wasn’t that hard a call. At some point we have to do something to shake up this offense and this is the first step. We’ll see how it goes. It’s Connor’s game. Unless he gets hurt, this is his game.”

Shaw started the opener this season, but was replaced by Garcia after the Gamecocks fell behind East Carolina.  Garcia, who had been the starter for the past two-plus season, started each of the next four games, but struggled mightily, throwing just four touchdowns versus nine interceptions.  He’s 109th in the country in passing efficiency.

As ineffective and mistake-prone as Garcia has been, Spurrier had no choice but to go back to his Game 1 starter.

“It’s an opportunity I’m willing to take advantage of,” said Shaw. “I think I’m ready to play. I’m excited and we’ll see how it goes this Saturday. I feel confident and I feel like I’m ready to play.”

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16 Responses to “Garcia benched as Spurrier tabs Shaw as QB starter”
  1. santeechief says: Oct 3, 2011 10:40 PM

    No real surprise here. Garcia has been playing very poorly (even for him) and Spurrier has had to apologize for his offense several times already. Garcia isn’t the only person at fault, and there’s plenty of blame to go around (even for the coaches), but this change was bound to come.

    Spurrier has been giving Garcia time to find his top form, and it just hasn’t happened. At least Shaw will be starting against Kentucky, which should give him a chance to settle in.

  2. rollerino1 says: Oct 3, 2011 11:14 PM


  3. paulbrownsrevenge says: Oct 3, 2011 11:25 PM

    Its no surprise that Spurrier can’t stick with a guy. Every time SC loses a game, there’s a QB controversy or benching. Poor leadership starts with the coaching staff.

  4. jag8r904 says: Oct 4, 2011 12:31 AM

    @pbrevenge Seemed to work ok in 1994 when he yanked, Heisman front runner, Terry Dean for eventually Heisman recipient Danny Wuerffel. Our in 1997 when hes did the same to Doug Johnson for Noah Brindise. And again in 2000 when he replaced Jesse Palmer with Rex Grossman. I guess 6 (7 if not for 1990 team that he inherited on probation) SEC titles, 9 div titles and turning a eternally mediocre program into a contender is bad leadership?

  5. trbowman says: Oct 4, 2011 1:55 AM

    Garcia is horrible

  6. southernpatriots says: Oct 4, 2011 5:49 AM

    We have to admit that our life long friends, and one a renowned hall of fame South Carolina running back from the days of Billy Cannon at LSU, started with the Garcia alcohol problems when he said, “I don’t have a problem…” with wanting him replaced. Eveyone knew he had a problem but he himself. That denial may have spilled over to his performances.

    We don’t know much about Conner Shaw, but Kentucky is a good game to introduce him, if a change is going to be made. This change needed to be made before the season started. Maybe Coach Spurrier did not think Shaw was ready for the first game, but now he realizes something must be done now.

    Over the past several years, we kept hearing how Garcia was such a great naturally talented QB. Don’t know much about that, but his performances have been inconsistent. Last year he had better results than this year. All the distractions he has had off the field may have affected him, maybe some pickling of his brain cells, some have suggested. Ye ole ball coach had to make a change. Spurrier is known as an offensive innovator and having dynamic offenses. He may need to make a change on his coaching staff also.

    It eats at the boosters and alums we know that Clemon is doing so well and USC is struggling. They welcome the change and any other changes that may be needed.

  7. florida727 says: Oct 4, 2011 8:26 AM

    Not only was the change needed for SC’s sake, it was needed for the sake of Connor Shaw, Alshon Jeffries, Marcus Lattimore, and a host of other high-profile players that deserve being led by a responsible, respectful QB. Garcia has proven, by his own actions, that he’s strictly a “me-first” player and not a leader or team player. Some of his on-field decisions are clear indications of trying to make the spectacular play in the interest of creating a SportsCenter highlight, not one(s) that are in the best interest of giving his team an opportunity to win.

    Good luck, Connor Shaw. Make no mistake though, you’re now the one under the proverbial ‘gun’. Lose to Kentucky and you’re toast. Nobody in the SEC should lose to Kentucky unless they’re wearing short pants, bouncing a round ball and making squeaky noises with their shoes.

  8. jonkybon says: Oct 4, 2011 8:54 AM

    Ever since his failed attempt at being an NFL coach, Spurrier is a farce. All you have to do is look at South Carolinas record against teams with winning records and you will see one of the worst programs in the SEC. Yes the Shamecocks beat Georgia, but UGA was 0-1 at the time.

    Loved hearing Shamecock fans bragging about this is their year for the National Championship and then being exposed as frauds! Stick with baseball and leave football entirely!

  9. southernpatriots says: Oct 4, 2011 8:56 AM

    florida727: How do we give that post 100 thumbs up?! Great points and a funny end! How many times have we lost to Kentucky round ballers? maybe the 100, same as thumbs up!

  10. 11inthebox says: Oct 4, 2011 9:34 AM

    @ florida727 who says:
    Garcia has proven, by his own actions, that he’s strictly a “me-first” player and not a leader or team player. Some of his on-field decisions are clear indications of trying to make the spectacular play in the interest of creating a SportsCenter highlight, not one(s) that are in the best interest of giving his team an opportunity to win.

    That’s quite an assumption you make about Garcia’s decision-making. “Highlight films?” Really? I think you’re letting Garcia’s off the field troubles cloud your view of reality

    I’ve seen every one of their games and what I’ve seen is a guy just trying to make plays. Period. Obviously, Spurrier is known for really putting his foot in a quarterbacks’ a–. Sometimes that’s proven effective. Other times not as much. This is one time when it didn’t work.

    Garcia doesn’t look like a kid who’s trying to “be on sportscenter,” he looks like a kid who’s lost his confidence and as a result, played poorly.

    The problem is the offense as a whole. They haven’t run the ball consistently and they don’t seem to have any real rhythm to their play calling. The defense is great and because of it, they’ll win several games.

  11. waynefontes says: Oct 4, 2011 9:47 AM

    Garcia has been an epic fail since he arrived on campus and keyed a car years ago.

    So much hype, so many suspensions yet so few results.

    It seems that the team doesn’t seem to respond well to Connor Shaw.

    It’s a shame because USC has a great defense and one of the best running backs in the country, but whenever you cringe when your QB throws a pass, that’s a bad sign.

    I hope Clemson can keep it going, pounding Va Tech on the road is impressive. I just fear Clemson will pull a Clemson and lose to someone like Virginia or North Carolina.

  12. southernpatriots says: Oct 4, 2011 9:59 AM

    waynefontes: You are right, it is a shame. The team seems to respond well to Garcia but he has not produced but in recent weeks has greatly compromised the offense and whole team….going from inconsistent, to bad, and now…to worse. Somehow Connor must step up and assume leadership on the team. He has to man up. To many good assets on the team…the ole ball coach has to come through once again and go with a younger QB and get him up to speed quickly. Spurrier has done this many times before, it should be he could do it in his sleep.

    To say Clemson is a pleasant surprise is an understatement. Wonder if they are rising to the occasion and know something we don’t about a SEC application?

  13. floridacock says: Oct 4, 2011 10:33 AM

    Garcia is a good kid whom has been brow beaten, most his fault, but not all, since he arrived at Carolina. He obviously has some talent, see last year, and as a fifth year senior, he was the most viable QB. But the OBC has destroyed any confidence the kid has and I believe one reason the OBC has not pulled him earlier is he realizes he is at fault for this loss of confidence. Shaw can’t play any worse, hopefully. There is too much talent to let one position ruin a pretty good year.

  14. paulbrownsrevenge says: Oct 4, 2011 5:40 PM


    He’s not a great leader as a coach, He’s a great recruiter. Saban is a great leader, he gets the most out of his talent. Spurrier whines and throws temper tantrums like a 4 year old when things go wrong.

    His accomplishments came at Florida, that was years ago. Florida has won a title without him in a shorter time span. Spurrier hasn’t done anything at South Carolina other than land top flight talent he can’t seem to coach to a conference title.

    There are 4 or 5 other SEC coaches that would win more games with his teams.

  15. jonkybon says: Oct 5, 2011 3:10 PM

    LOL Garcia is a good kid. What a joke! He’s an alcoholic and a punk. He’s been suspended five times and should have been ten more times. If SC had a real coach Garcia’s drunken felon a$$ would have been thrown off the team long ago. This is but another reason why the Shamecocks are the laughingstock of the SEC.

    Hope the NCAA lowers the boom on Spurrier for all the violations he’s been getting away with from his recruiting cruises to allowing his players to stay at downtown hotels for pennies on the dollar to his paying players to plethera of other violations. SC deserves the NCAA death penalty all thanks to Spurrier.

  16. jag8r904 says: Oct 8, 2011 10:45 PM

    @pbrevenge how’d that seem to work out? SOS built UF to be able to win a title after he left. UF won NOTHING before he got their (except 2 vacated SECs). Spurrier is actually not a great recruiter. Players come to play for him but he doesn’t put in near the effort that other coaches do. If so many other coaches can be successful at USC, then why haven’t they ever been as successful as in the past few years?

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