I love Marcus Lattimore. I think he's an incredible player and one of the greatest people to ever step on a football field.
However, it seems like the South Carolina Gamecocks offense is better when he isn't on the field. Even last year, the offense looked more versatile and more explosive after his injury.
I know that seems insensitive. The Lattimore injury is tragic, and those of you that follow me know how I feel about it. It's horrible, and he deserves better.
However, he was the spotlight of the offense. You know he is getting his hands on the ball more often than not when he is in the game. When he isn't, the Gamecocks are more likely to pass.
Now, the spotlight has shifted to another player: Connor Shaw.
Like last year, he answered with a great game. He was one boneheaded interception away from a truly stellar output.
Shaw has quietly put together another solid season. He has plenty of naysayers around Gamecock-land and throughout the country, but I am not one of them.
He's thrown for 1,610 yards, 14 touchdowns and only six interceptions. He's completed close to 66 percent of his passes and has chipped in another 321 yards rushing (would be way more if they didn't count sacks against the rushing total...seriously, get rid of that) and three touchdowns.
Against Arkansas, with no Lattimore to rely on, he carried the team on his shoulders. He made incredible plays with his legs and his arm.
He finished the game with 272 yards passing with two touchdowns and one pick. He had 12.36 yards per attempt, a statistic that people often look at to truly gauge how great a quarterback is.
There are other players that have stepped up. Bruce Ellington is turning into an excellent receiver, and Mike Davis needs to be a starter. D.J. Swearinger keeps willing the team to victory, and Jadeveon Clowney is an absolutely destructive force.
However, Shaw deserves a great deal of credit for the recent successes of the program. South Carolina will roll to at least 10 victories this year. That is a testament to how well Connor Shaw has led the team.
He's a great player. His star will only continue to rise.