Connor Shaw: Injured South Carolina QB Shines in Missouri Beatdown

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistSeptember 22, 2012

COLUMBIA, SC - SEPTEMBER 22:  Quarterback Connor Shaw #14 of the South Carolina Gamecocks scrambles for yardage against the Missouri Tigers defense during play at Williams-Brice Stadium on September 22, 2012 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Connor Shaw and the South Carolina Gamecocks established themselves as a legitimate threat in the SEC with a 31-10 beatdown of the Missouri Tigers.

Shaw started off the game with an incompletion but wouldn't see a pass hit the ground the rest of the game as he connected on 20 of his 21 pass attempts against the listless Tigers, who struggled to stop the Gamecocks offense in any facet of the game.

In addition to his incredible accuracy, Shaw gained 249 yards through the air with two touchdowns and 41 yards rushing on 12 carries.

What makes Shaw's performance really impressive? He did the whole thing with a hairline fracture in his throwing shoulder.

Shaw may have split snaps with Stephen Garcia last season, but there's no question that Shaw has emerged as the leader of the Gamecocks after his performance against the Tigers.

Backup Dylan Thompson was prepared to play if Shaw wasn't able to go, but Thompson only saw the field once the game was well in hand as the Gamecocks tried to milk the clock.

Shaw's performance was nearly historical, as his 20 straight completions were nearly a historical occasion, tying for second in SEC history, according to South Carolina beat reporter Darryl Slater.

Connor Shaw's 20 straight completions is tied for second all time in SEC history. Shaw's day is done.

— Darryl Slater (@DarrylSlater) September 22, 2012

Shaw was also close to the NCAA record for accuracy in a single game as his 95.2 completion percentage was barely edged out by Tee Martin's 95.8 percent performance against none other than the South Carolina Gamecocks in 1998 (minimum of 20 pass attempts).

If Shaw can continue to play at this level as he heals from his broken shoulder, the Gamecocks could make a serious run in the BCS as they are clearly the third best team in the SEC and could challenge both Alabama and LSU.