"Gutsy" was the word South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier used to describe the performance of his junior quarterback in the Gamecock's 17-13 win at Vandy, according to ABC Columbia. Normally, when a Spurrier-coached team doesn't get to 100 yards passing in a game, the word gutsy would never come up.
There isn't a better word I can think of to describe Connor Shaw's performance.
Though the passing numbers were not there, he ran the ball extremely well, rushing for 92 yards on 14 carries (6.6 average). Shaw completed seven7-of-11 passes for 67 yards with one interception—none bigger than one for 20 yards to Justice Cunningham on the fourth-quarter scoring drive.
In addition to the passing yardage, a 15-yard personal foul penalty was called. Officials flagged Vanderbilt cornerback Andre Hal for hitting a defenseless receiver above the shoulder. In all, the play covered 35 yards.
The injury to Shaw occurred late in the first half, when a defender's helmet hit him in the shoulder after a two yard run. Though the shoulder was sound, it was badly bruised in the incident.
Shaw received treatment in the locker room just prior to until shortly after halftime. Dylan Thompson finished out the half, and then oversaw two three-and-outs in the third quarter before being relieved by Shaw.
It was obvious that the shoulder was painful to Shaw for the remainder of the game. Still, he completed his best pass of the night on the game-winning drive.
Near the goal line, Shaw ran for 12 yards before being tackled just short. When he came up wincing after the play, he ran to the sideline and took one play off. When he came back in, he handed the ball off to Lattimore, who scored easily.
Coach Spurrier didn't say much about why the passing game looked so miserable, even before the injury to his starting quarterback. He simply noted that it was and that he hoped it got a lot better by next week.
As for Connor Shaw, he received high praise for a quarterback who had a poor passing game.
Given the whole circumstance, the praise was, in fact, well justified.