NCAA FB

Shaw's passing boosts 6th-ranked Gamecocks

Share This Story

   
 

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP)

South Carolina's Connor Shaw is adding to his repertoire and increasing the sixth-ranked Gamecocks' prospects in the Southeastern Conference.

Shaw connected on 20 straight passes and threw a pair of touchdowns in South Carolina's 31-10 victory over Missouri on Saturday. It was a major step forward for a junior quarterback mostly known for beating teams with his legs.

If Shaw keeps passing like he did - and keeps opponents guessing whether he'll run or throw - it will give the Gamecocks' offense the added dimension at quarterback it's been missing most of coach Steve Spurrier's eight seasons.

''My goal was to come out here and play to the best of my ability,'' Shaw said. ''And I think I did.''

Shaw's success used to come on designed quarterback draws or plays when things in the pocket break down. Spurrier's biggest criticism of Shaw has always been his reluctance to just ''turn it loose'' downfield when a pass play is called.

Still, Shaw entered this season completing better than 66 percent of his throws, which ranked first all-time among South Carolina passers with at least 150 career attempts.

Shaw obliterated that percentage against the Tigers (2-2, 0-2 SEC). He finished 20 of 21 and was perfect after missing his first pass of the game, as the Gamecocks (2-0 SEC) moved to 4-0 for just the ninth time in 119 years of football.

Spurrier called Shaw's performance sensational, especially considering the hairline fracture the junior has in his right, throwing shoulder. Shaw hurt himself against Vanderbilt in South Carolina's opener and played just two quarters the next two games. Spurrier said early last week that Shaw was fine and would start.

''Connor came out of the game fine as he was all week,'' Spurrier said Sunday. ''He was able to run and throw and do everything as he was last year.''

Shaw stepped in as the Gamecocks' starter in midseason last year because of the struggles of fifth-year senior Stephen Garcia. The job became Shaw's for good a short time later when Garcia was dismissed from the program in early October. The Gamecocks relied largely on Shaw's rushing abilities to keep winning, though he grew more comfortable throwing the ball as the season wore on.

He opened with a splashy four-touchdown, 311-yard performance against Kentucky last October, then went five games before reaching 200 yards again last year. In his final three starts of 2011 against Citadel, rival Clemson and Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl, Shaw was a combined 41 of 55 for 657 yards and eight touchdowns.

The Gamecocks finished 11-2 last year, the most wins in program history.

If Shaw continues his sharp passing, the Gamecocks might be more than a longshot hope to muscle in to SEC heavyweights Alabama, LSU and Georgia.

The tests will come soon enough. Shaw and the Gamecocks head to struggling Kentucky next week, then begin a defining stretch against the fifth-ranked Bulldogs, No. 3 LSU and No. 11 Florida.

Shaw's 20 straight completions are tied for second in the SEC behind Tennessee national championship quarterback Tee Martin, who hit 23 in a row in 1998 against the Gamecocks at Williams-Brice Stadium. Kentucky is seventh in the SEC in passing defense.

''Kentucky is struggling a bit as we know,'' Spurrier said. ''But they are capable.''

The last time South Carolina traveled to Kentucky as a big favorite in 2010, the Gamecocks were beaten 31-28 by the Wildcats - a week after South Carolina had upset No. 1 Alabama.

Shaw said the players remember that loss and will work to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Shaw, 11-1 as a starter, enjoyed the upbeat mood in the locker room.

''I feel like you have to celebrate after a victory like that,'' he said.

Tagged: Kentucky, South Carolina, Connor Shaw

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by

College Football Pick'em on FOX


NCAA FB Videos

Sumlin annoyed by media's Manziel questions Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Kevin Sumlin responds to questions about life after Johnny Football by toying wi...

AJ Pasquale's journey back to UCLA Posted: Jun 17, 2014
UCLA football ops intern AJ Pasquale describes his own personal journey after th...

Winston issued adult civil citation Posted: Apr 30, 2014
Get the latest news surrounding Jameis Winston's recent shoplifting fiasco.

Get Inside the Locker Room with Scout.com

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/759777/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_759000/ff_759777_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Michigan_State_Spartans/browse/featuredproduct/760171/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_760000/ff_760171_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White
    Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_USC_Trojans/browse/featuredproduct/761373/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_761000/ff_761373_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/829709/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829709_xl.jpg&w=100 64.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimso..
    Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_LSU_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/829740/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829740_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple
    Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_Sooners/browse/featuredproduct/830935/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_830000/ff_830935_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/861243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861243_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue
    adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Nebraska_Cornhuskers/browse/featuredproduct/861247/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861247_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapback Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1087345/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1087000/ff_1087345_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapba..
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1093431/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1093000/ff_1093431_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash