South Carolina Looks Awfully Comfortable Running a Two-QB System

Michael FelderNational CFB Lead WriterApril 16, 2013

COLUMBIA, SC - SEPTEMBER 15: Connor Shaw #14 of the South Carolina Gamecocks warms up on the field as Dylan Thompson #17 looks on before the start of their game against the UAB Blazers on September 15, 2012 at Williams Brice Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by Mary Ann Chastain/Getty Images)
Mary Ann Chastain/Getty Images

Following the Garnet and Black Game in Columbia, South Carolina, the postgame presser let us know one thing: Last year's two-quarterback offense was just the start for the Gamecocks. Come the fall, with a healthy Connor Shaw, Steve Spurrier is going to continue to live true to his multiple quarterback roots, in a way.

Shaw, who sat out the spring to recover from foot surgery, will likely be the starter in name, but backup quarterback Dylan Thompson looks to figure prominently in the offense as well. As ESPN's Chris Low quoted Spurrier before the spring game:

“They both deserve to play, and I’d say we’ll end up needing them both next season."

After Thompson's spring showing, that included one touchdown pass, several pretty balls thrown down field and one interception, the rising junior reiterated the idea that both guys will be "the guy" in a sense for 2013.

“Whatever that means, that’s what it means. I think he has confidence in both myself and Connor that we’re not going to look at it as a selfish thing.”

That's Thompson's take on what Spurrier telling him he'll be playing plenty in 2013 means to not only him, but to Connor Shaw as well. Unlike most schools looking to settle a quarterback battle of sorts, the Gamecocks have a situation where both guys are pushing to work with one another.

Shaw brings a capable passing arm to the table with his dual-threat abilities to help the run game. Thompson brings a big arm and good accuracy to the mix as more of the prototypical pocket passer. Both guys have qualities that South Carolina needs to be successful as it pushes for a BCS bowl appearance—especially should Shaw, the runner, come down with nagging injuries as he did in 2012.

For the Gamecocks, much like in 2012, two quarterbacks are a must to reach the top of their potential. With LSU off the schedule and a likely Top 10 preseason ranking coming its way, South Carolina will be aiming for an SEC East Championship. That said, the Gamecocks have to figure out how to beat Will Muschamp's Florida team, a game where, a year ago, neither guy found much success.

With Thompson's arm, and Shaw's combination of arm and legs, these two quarterbacks are both good enough, and different enough, to complement one another. They both figure in Steve Spurrier's plan, and while the mantra "if you got two quarterbacks, you ain't got one" might be a great rule of thumb, this is certainly the exception to that rule.