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Sunday, September 25, 2011
Uncertainty returns to Gamecocks' QB spot

By Edward Aschoff

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- After benching starter Stephen Garcia in the fourth quarter of South Carolina's 21-3 win over Vanderbilt Saturday, coach Steve Spurrier said he's unsure of who will start at quarterback for the Gamecocks when they play Auburn next week.

"We'll put whoever out there we can to help us win the game," Spurrier said.

South Carolina's Steve Spurrier
Steve Spurrier said Stephen Garcia will "probably" start at quarterback next week.
Spurrier added that there isn't a quarterback controversy and that Garcia "probably" will start, but he's keeping his options open.

Garcia went 16-for-30 on the night for 228 yards and a touchdown. However, he also made a handful of questionable throws and had four interceptions. Three of them were thrown right to defenders, while one was batted into the hands of Vanderbilt's Chris Marve after Garcia avoided the sack by trying to lob a short pass to an unsuspecting Alshon Jeffery at the goal line.

Garcia was pulled late for Connor Shaw, who started the year as the Gamecocks' quarterback. Shaw finished with 8 yards passing on two attempts. Redshirt freshman Dylan Thompson also came in, but he mainly handed the ball off and ran the ball once for 1 yard.

"If some of those other guys look great in practice, yeah, I'd put them in there," Spurrier said.

When asked if he was frustrated by being yanked, Garcia had this to say:
"They wanted to get Connor some playing time, some experience. That's normal. We had the game pretty much sealed at the end, so I'm not really frustrated by it at all."

When asked if he still felt like the starter, Garcia said this with a slight laugh:
"You'll have to ask coach (Spurrier) that."

Spurrier didn't harp too much on Garcia's performance. In fact, he stopped commenting on Garcia's performance the more he looked at his stats and the more he talked about the offense. He also didn't put a lot of the blame on Garcia, saying that he's "doing the best that he can. That's all we can ever say."

Regardless, Garcia's "best" isn't great and he needs to improve if this team is going to make it back to Atlanta for another shot at the SEC title.