Perry Orth

South Carolina turns QB show over to freshmen

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So long for having a veteran option to rely on at South Carolina. The Gamecocks’ are moving forward giving a pair of freshmen the chance to lead the offense for the remainder of the season. Jake Bentley and Brandon McIlwain will continue to take first-team reps with the offense

“I just feel like right now, just from an ability standpoint, those two guys give us the best opportunity,” South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp said during his Sunday teleconference, according to The Post and Courier. “And they’re just going to keep getting better. Both of them do things equally well, and we’ll continue to rep that way.”

Bentley made his season debut over the weekend, completing 17 of 26 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns against UMass. McIlwain has appeared in six games this season, completing 56-of-106 passes for 567 yards and two touchdowns, with one interception. At 3-4, the Gamecocks can still make a run to a postseason bowl berth, but having a quarterback capable of lighting a spark on offense is essential. Bentley did that against UMAss, but games against Tennessee, Florida and Clemson in the second half of the season will prove to be more difficult.

Regardless, this means we may have seen the last of Perry Orth at quarterback for the Gamecocks. Orth will step aside as South Carolina’s leading passer with 661 passing yards and a completion percentage of 63.3 without a touchdown and two interceptions. The senior, a former walk-on, will remain influential on the sideline, however.

“Perry’s been great in terms of supporting our guys and talking to them on the sideline,” Muschamp said. “He’s been a great teammate, he’s a great young man, and he’s a guy who certainly is a valuable member of our organization, and a guy I’ve got the utmost respect for.”

South Carolina to start third different QB in three weeks

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South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier is making a quarterback change heading into this weekend’s non-conference tilt with UCF. On Tuesday, Spurrier announced freshman Lorenzo Nunez will be the starting quarterback for the Gamecocks.

“I think it’s the first true freshman quarterback I’ve ever started, but that’s just where we are right now,” Spurrier said Tuesday. “Lorenzo gives us a little spark maybe we need offensively.”

Nunez was a four-star recruit from Kennesaw, Georgia in South Carolina’s Class of 2015. He was the No. 16 dual-threat quarterback in 2015 according to Rivals.

This will be the third different starting quarterback for the Gamecocks in the last three weeks. Connor Mitch missed last weekend’s game against Georgia after being hospitalized the previous week. Spurrier then let Perry Orth get the nod for last weekend’s game. Against Georgia, Orth finished his day completing six of 17 pass attempts for just 66 yards and he was picked off once.

UCF made some roster news earlier today as well, dismissing running back William Stanback. Stanback was UCF’s leading rusher in 2014.

Gamecocks QB Connor Mitch released from hospital

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South Carolina quarterback Connor Mitch may still be out of action for the next month to a month and a half, but he has been released from a hospital and is able to go home. A release from South Carolina’s athletics department Tuesday afternoon confirmed Mitch has been released from a hospital and is doing well.

Mitch was hospitalized over the weekend following South Carolina’s game against Kentucky, where he was treated for a shoulder injury. Upon examination doctors discovered a hip infection that stemmed from a hip injury that occurred in South Carolina’s first game of the season. Together the injuries were expected to keep Mitch off the field for the next four to six weeks. There has been no change in that timeline, but South Carolina’s emailed statement said doctors will continue to monitor both injuries over the next several weeks.

Mitch was treated at Palmetto Richland Hospital in Columbia on Saturday. Mitch has a sprained right shoulder and a hip pointer injury.

With Mitch out of the mix, South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier will roll with Perry Orth at quarterback. Orth had stepped in for a banged up Mitch in the season opener against North Carolina.

“We have confidence in Perry,” Spurrier said. “It was unfortunate Connor got hurt, but you have to move on to the next player.”

Gamecocks QB Connor Mitch hospitalized for hip infection, out 4-6 weeks

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Add South Carolina to the list of teams with injured quarterback concerns. Connor Mitch will miss the next four to six weeks after being hospitalized for a hip infection. Steve Spurrier announced the health status of his quarterback Sunday.

“He got treatment all week, and felt like he was ready to go,” Spurrier said. “I think he probably just got hit again on that deep bruise, and it is an ugly bruise. That probably aggravated it also.”

Mitch was injured in Saturday night’s loss to Kentucky, but it was the hip injury suffered in Week 1 against UNC that is the cause for alarm now. The separated shoulder injury forced South Carolina to roll with Perry Orth, who had shown some good glimpses in the season opener as well in relief of a banged up Mitch. Orth will start for South Carolina in the meantime, and Spurrier says the team is confident in their new starting quarterback.

“We have confidence in Perry,” Spurrier said. “It was unfortunate Connor got hurt, but you have to move on to the next player.”

The prognosis of Mitch coming back in four to six weeks seems promising considering the initial concern about his separated shoulder injury. Spurrier noted that type of injury can take up to a year to recover.

UNC takes 13-10 lead into halftime of Belk Kickoff

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North Carolina has had one red zone opportunity end with an interception, another with a sack leading to a longer field goal. Regardless of a couple of missed opportunities inside the South Carolina 20-yard line, the Tar Heels find themselves leading 13-10 after the second first half of FBS college football this season (UCF and FIU beat the Belk Kickoff to the punch; UCF leading FIU 14-3).

It looked as though North Carolina was going to have a big night if the first two offensive possessions of the ballgame were any indication. The Tar Heel defense, with Gene Chizik at the helm as defensive coordinator, forced a three-and-out on the Gamecocks’ opening possession and then the offense went to work by driving right inside the red zone. Looking for six, UNC quarterback Marquise Williams threw a poor pass over the middle that was picked off by Skai Moore in the end zone.

How did Williams respond? By completing his next pass attempt for a 40-yard gain following a South Carolina punt. The long pass to Bug Howard set the pace for an up-tempo drive, which continued with a 23-yard strike to Quinshad Davis and concluded with a 21-yard touchdown pass to Howard, who broke away from a defender to make his way to the end zone. Howard’s touchdown was the first touchdown of the FBS season.

South Carolina had an answer though, driving 75 yards on seven plays to even the score at 7-7. Connor Mitch completed three of his four pass attempts and finished off the drive with a nine-yard touchdown pass to Pharaoh Cooper. Cooper would later walk off the field to receive medical treatment for minor cramping. Mitch would also leave the game late in the first half for cramping issues. Perry Orth took over and moved the Gamecocks into range for a long field goal try at the end of the half, but the 50+ try fell shy of the bar.