USC quarterback Stephen Garcia is only a red-shirt sophomore but it seems likes he’s experienced a lot during his time at USC. There are the well documented off the field issues that almost kept him from ever playing a down at Carolina. But he has managed to come back and Saturday he will get a chance to continue his redemption tour with an opportunity to get a bowl win.
Garcia started last year’s Outback Bowl against Iowa but he played so poorly he was benched in the first half. He has started every game for USC this season and for the most part he’s done pretty well. He has made some critical mistakes but that is nothing out of the ordinary for a first year starter. Most observers believe Garcia has a tremendous upside and a chance to be a very good SEC quarterback.
He is still a work in progress though. Steve Spurrier mentioned after practice in Birmingham yesterday that Garcia didn’t have a very good day. The Head Ball Coach said that if Garcia plays like he practiced Wednesday the team is in trouble.
Steve Spurrier on Garcia’s performance in practice Wednesday
I wouldn’t read too much into Spurrier’s comments. I have no doubt Garcia didn’t have one of his better days but Spurrier is known to be a little harsh on all his quarterbacks. I expect Garcia to be ready to play Saturday against UConn.
Stephen Garcia talks about preparing for the PapaJohns.com Bowl
I do think the best game plan for USC is going to be run, run and run some more. That is what they did against Clemson. That is what they did for three quarters against Arkansas. When the Gamecocks effectively run the ball they are at their best. Yes, Garcia is improving but he isn’t ready to drop back and toss the ball 40 times in a game and have great results. He may get there. But he’s not there yet.
USC and UConn will play Saturday at 2:00.