Stephen Garcia: Steve Spurrier Says He Won't Start Senior QB in Season Opener

Michael DixonAnalyst IIISeptember 1, 2011

AUBURN, AL - SEPTEMBER 25:  Head coach Steve Spurrier of the South Carolina Gamecocks walks to congratulate quarterback Stephen Garcia #5 for his passing touchdown against the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 25, 2010 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

In his last two years as South Carolina's starting quarterback, Stephen Garcia has completed just fewer than 60 percent of his passes for 5,921 yards, 37 touchdowns and 24 interceptions.

Those aren't necessarily Heisman Trophy caliber numbers, but they are indicative of a quarterback that's probably deserving of a starting role as a senior.

That's not the case in South Carolina, as Steve Spurrier announced today that Connor Shaw will start the opening game of the season against East Carolina.

Spurrier had this to say about the decision when he spoke with the Charleston Post and Courier in this article.

"We've gone through preseason, so it's over. The guy who rated the best was Connor Shaw. He played better than Stephen Garcia. Simple as that. So he's going to start the game. He's going to play the first quarter, and Stephen is going to play the second quarter. And we're going to see what happens after that. That's the fair way to do it."

So, Garcia will get plenty of chances to prove himself as a senior. If he plays better in the second quarter than Shaw does in the first, it looks as though the second half will belong to Garcia.

It's also worth noting that the occasionally erratic play by Garcia isn't the only factor working against him. In three years at South Carolina, he's been suspended five times.

Even if Garcia does earn the starting position for the rest of the season, this demotion will break his string of 28 consecutive games started, which dates back to his freshman year of 2008.

Shaw did receive playing time as a freshman in 2010, completing 23 of 33 passes for 223 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Both interceptions came in a 35-27 loss at the hands of eventual National Champion Auburn Tigers.

Spurrier is no stranger to using multiple quarterbacks. It was a frequent practice of his while he was the coach at Florida.

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