South Carolina Football: Four Ways to Bring Back Stephen Garcia's Confidence
Cliched and silly as this sounds, you have a fragile quarterback, and one game where the crowd backs him 100 percent could do wonders for him.
It would be awesome if the first time he trots out on the field the sound of "Ste-Phen, Ste-Phen, Ste-Phen" fills the air.
Give the man a boost. I have been guilty of being a crappy fan towards him recently, but remember... he has 23 wins as a starter, is third all-time on all of the passing lists and helped South Carolina gain its first SEC East crown.
1. Use Less Deep Throws
I believe that Stephen Garcia's shakiest and least confident area is on the long ball. This can be avoided by... not, um.. throwing the long ball.
His accuracy has improved, with his best game being Navy. He hit 72 percent of his passes. However, 13 of his 18 passes were short- to mid-range.
Stay away from the long lobs to Alshon Jeffery. That doesn't work when he is triple-covered. Get him involved in other ways.
2. Use His Running Ability More
This season, Garcia has become a much better runner. He has already scored three times as a runner and has made numerous plays with his legs. I am not saying that he should be used like Denard Robinson, but 10 carries could work for Garcia. He seems to relish getting hit (and hitting) and generally plays better when he is the aggressor.
3. Have the Receivers Run Quicker Routes
It seems as if Stephen Garcia's interceptions come from two areas of the field, with the same two patterns.
Every time the receiver runs a hitch timing pattern, the pass is errant or ill-timed. Especially hitch patterns near the first down markers. Three interceptions have come from hitch patterns (or something similar).
Also, the deep bombs to the sideline need to go. Teams should set up those bombs, not use them as a main attack.
Quick slants, ins and shorter hitch routes could be used to give the super speedy and talented receivers a chance to make plays. The more success the receivers have, the more success Garcia will have. Obviously.
4. Fans, This One's for You: Start the Garcia Chant EARLY
Like I said before, Stephen Garcia plays better with the crowd behind him. I can speak for myself when I say I haven't always backed him 100 percent. So why not give it a try?
Imagine what Garcia could do if we, the fans, were there for him from start to finish in a game? After all, he's got 23 wins to his credit as a starter, is up there on all-time passing lists and led the Gamecocks to their first SEC East crown last year.