Sophomore Connor Shaw is South Carolina’s starting quarterback. Again. USC coach Steve Spurrier announced after practice Monday night that he is benching fifth year senior Stephen Garcia in favor of Shaw.
Shaw won the quarterback competition in the pre-season camp and started the season opener against East Carolina. But in a pre-determined move, Garcia replaced Shaw in the second quarter and has held the job since then.
But it was a shaky hold Garcia had on the job as his performace declined the last two weeks. After completing 72% of his passes against Navy, Garcia completed 53% against Vanderbilt with four interceptions. And in Saturday’s loss to Auburn, he was just 9-23 (39%) with two interceptions.
For the season, Garcia is completing 51.7% of his passes for 844 yards, 4 touchdowns and 9 interceptions.
Shaw was 3-9 for 21 yards in his quarter of work against East Carolina. His only other action this season came in mop up duty against Vanderbilt when he was 1-2 for 8 yards. Shaw has not thrown a touchdown pass or interception this season.
By benching Garcia, the Gamecocks also are losing their second leading rusher. Garcia has rushed for 171 yards and 3 touchdowns this season. He rushed for 62 yards against Auburn.
Spurrier said the Kentucky game is Shaw’s game. There will be no pre-determined split of the playing time. Garcia will serve as the back up.
Spurrier will hold his weekly news conference Tuesday and will further address the quarterback situation and possible other changes on the offense.