Spurrier still not sold on Garcia as full-time starter

November, 6, 2008
11/06/08
10:00
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier still isn't ready to give redshirt freshman quarterback Stephen Garcia a ringing endorsement even though Garcia has led the Gamecocks to a pair of SEC victories in their last three games.

Spurrier said he may still play sophomore Chris Smelley some in Saturday's game against Arkansas.

Garcia was 9-of-19 for 139 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in the 27-6 win over Tennessee last Saturday, but the Gamecocks (6-3, 3-3 SEC) also had to punt eight times.

"Stephen has done some good things, but Stephen obviously is not prepared extremely well yet," said Spurrier, still frustrated with some of Garcia's decision making. "Stephen still has a lot of bad habits. He wants to leave the pocket sometimes when he doesn't have to. Sometimes he has to, and that's good.

"Where he is in his development is learning when he has to fly out of there and when he has to stay in there and throw the ball. That's the part of the game quarterbacks have to learn if they're really going to play the game well."

Spurrier isn't sold on Garcia being mentally prepared to play the entire game, which is why the Head Ball Coach is keeping Smelley waiting in the wings.

"Stephen has done OK, but he's a ways away from being a really top-flight quarterback," said Spurrier, always the discerning one when it comes to the guy pulling the trigger.

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