There was a stretch last season when Stephen Garcia alternated with Chris Smelley every snap as South Carolina’s quarterback.
But USC coach Steve Spurrier said Garcia can enter Thursday’s game at N.C. State not having to worry about looking over his shoulder.
“He’s not going to get any quick yank or quick pull,” Spurrier said Tuesday at his first weekly press conference.
That said, Spurrier said he expects Garcia to stick with the offensive game plan rather than improvise and put the ball up for grabs.
After watching his quarterbacks throw more interceptions (27) than any team in the country last year, Spurrier said he’s OK with a 6-yard sack rather than “wildly tossed interceptions.”
As for his team overall, Spurrier said the Gamecocks are “trying not to talk too much about prior games and prior history.”
In some respects, USC is starting over with a young roster. The Gamecocks’ two-deep features 15 freshmen or redshirt freshmen, including several in starting roles.
And that does not include freshman receiver Alshon Jeffrey, who could get in the game.
Spurrier downplayed the roles cornerback Stephon Gilmore and defensive end Cliff Matthews could have on offense. Gilmore took snaps at quarterback in the Wildcock formation during a preseason scrimmage, while Matthews lined up at tight end.
But Spurrier said defensive coaches reminded him how valuable the two players are to the defense.