Connor Shaw set to start for Gamecocks

October, 24, 2012
10/24/12
1:00
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Despite being benched in the second half of South Carolina's 41-11 loss to Florida last week, quarterback Connor Shaw is set to start Saturday's game against Tennessee.

Coach Steve Spurrier said during Wednesday's SEC coaches call that Shaw will be the guy and he'll give him a little more leeway this weekend.

"We told Connor that this is his game and we're not going to pull him out at halftime if he's struggling," Spurrier said. "He needs to go play. He has struggled a bit the last couple of games, and we're trying to help him out a little bit anyway we can."

Shaw was benched after he completed just 9 of 20 passes for 72 yards in the first half against Florida. Dylan Thompson, who filled in for Shaw earlier this season when Shaw went down with his shoulder injury, hit 8 of 20 passes for 83 yards and threw an interception.

"Connor has been our quarterback when we were 6-0 and he needs to somehow or another regain his confidence -- maybe hit a pass or two early in the game or whatever," Spurrier said.

Two players Spurrier doesn't expect to see this weekend are defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles and offensive lineman Mike Matulis, who started at left tackle against Florida. Both are dealing with injuries, Spurrier said.

Quarles was suspended for the Florida game after he threw a punch at an LSU player in the Gamecocks' 23-21 loss to the Tigers, but he would likely have missed last week's game anyway with a shoulder injury that is still affecting him.

"Yeah, it's still bothering him," Spurrier said. "He's one player that probably will not play this week."

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