South Carolina was able to come away with a 33-28 victory over Michigan in the Outback Bowl, but the team received some bad news about the future of its starting quarterback.
Darryl Slater of The Post and Courier in Charleston reported that Connor Shaw will miss some time after injuring his foot during the game:
USC spokesman said QB Connor Shaw will have surgery on his injured left foot Friday and is not expected to be available for spring practices— Darryl Slater (@DarrylSlater) January 3, 2013
The junior quarterback was having a great game against Michigan prior the injury. He completed 18 of his 26 pass attempts for 224 yards and two touchdowns. He also totaled 96 rushing yards on the day, including one long burst for 64 yards.
He left with the Gamecocks trailing with only minutes remaining in the contest.
Fortunately, Dylan Thompson was able to come into the game and throw a 32-yard touchdown pass to give his team the lead and the win.
Shaw should still enter next season as the starting quarterback if healthy. For the season, he threw for 1,956 yards in 11 games with 17 touchdowns and a 158.1 efficiency rating.
However, the injury now seems like it could be a long-term issue. It is unknown whether he will be ready to play in the fall, but the early projections are not good.
Spring practice is incredibly valuable for college football teams, and any time Shaw misses is certain to hold the Gamecocks back. The good news, at least, is that Thompson can get more reps with the first team after filling in admirably for Shaw on numerous occasions.
It remains to be seen how the offense will look next season with running back Marcus Lattimore entering the NFL draft, but the entire program should hope for better health after dealing with injury problems all year.
Check back for more updates on Shaw as news becomes available.