Ever since the opening Thursday night of the season, every South Carolina press conference has been like a scene from Groundhog Day.
"What's the status of quarterback Connor Shaw?"
That vicious cycle was broken on Tuesday, when South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier announced that the junior will start this weekend against Missouri, according to Michael Haney of 107.5 The Game.
Spurrier says Connor Shaw is "fine" and will start this week.— Michael Haney (@Haney1075) September 18, 2012
Shaw has been nursing a shoulder injury ever since the second quarter of the opening-night win vs. Vanderbilt. He revealed after Saturday's win over UAB that the injury is a crack in his shoulder blade, according to WRDW Channel 12 in Augusta, Ga.
In Shaw's absence, backup Dylan Thompson lit up East Carolina and UAB like a Christmas tree to the tune of 507 total passing yards, five touchdowns and zero interceptions.
Thompson's performance had some wondering if there is a budding quarterback controversy in Columbia, especially since Spurrier has shown affinity for pass-happy quarterbacks in the past.
Spurrier put that to rest on Tuesday with the announcement that Shaw is his guy, and he defended Shaw's ability as a drop-back quarterback in the process.
Spurrier says Shaw is a better passer than he's shown. Has been too hesitant at times. "Hopefully he can get out of that."— Michael Haney (@Haney1075) September 18, 2012
Spurrier is right.
Shaw proved to be a good passer late last season, throwing for more than 200 yards in each of South Carolina's final three contests (vs. The Citadel, Clemson and Nebraska).
Considering his only two healthy quarters this season were in the first game of the season, and his offensive line couldn't block anyone in the second quarter vs. Vanderbilt, he hasn't really had the chance to prove his worth in 2012.
Just because Spurrier has rotated quarterbacks in the past doesn't mean that he's going to do it now, particularly when Shaw hasn't done anything to lose the job.
There is no quarterback controversy, and there never was.
When healthy, Shaw is a proven winner as an SEC quarterback. He led the Gamecocks to a 7-1 record down the stretch last season, including five wins without star running back Marcus Lattimore.
Until he proves otherwise or is unable to play at a high level due to injury, he's South Carolina's quarterback.
That's a good thing for the Gamecocks.
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