The Gamecocks nearly had a season opening upset when they pulled off a 17-13 win over the Vanderbilt Commodores. After seeing starting quarterback Connor Shaw miss a good portion of the game with a shoulder contusion, backup Dylan Thompson came in for relief and did not perform too well.
Heading into Week 2, the Gamecocks were hoping that Shaw would have enough time for his shoulder to heal up for the East Carolina game, but that was not the case. Shaw was dressed, but instead of playing he simply got to enjoy one of the better seats in the house as he watched from the sidelines.
Dylan Thompson would get the start and showed that he may deserve more credit than he was given the week before. He looked strong and led the Gamecocks to a 48-10 blowout over the East Carolina Pirates.
Thompson came out strong early in the first quarter with a 53-yard completion to Damiere Byrd that would ultimately set up a touchdown from Marcus Lattimore. Later in the third quarter, Thompson would evade several ECU defenders and throw for 29 yards to D.L. Moore, who put another touchdown on the board.
In all, Thompson completed 21 of his 37 attempts for 330 yards and three touchdowns. He showed that even without Shaw starting, the Gamecocks can still get it done. With a lot of help from the defense, who intercepted the ball four times, the Carolina offense was able to enjoy a lot of time on the field and run up the score.
As South Carolina begins preparing for UAB when they come to Columbia for Week 3, they can feel more confident with their depth at quarterback. Now instead of rushing Shaw to come back and risk further injury, they can give the ball to Dylan Thompson again and see if he can build on this performance.
UAB dropped their season opener against Troy 39-29 and will face the South Carolina Gamecocks for their second game before taking on Ohio State for Week 3.
Coach Spurrier has to be relieved with how Thompson played today as it will afford him the opportunity to test Thompson and rest Shaw next week, if need be, in what should be a bit of a warmup before Missouri comes to town.