Tim Couch knows good quarterback play, and he says that’s what South Carolina is getting this year from Stephen Garcia.
Couch, who will provide color commentary for Fox Sports Carolinas on Saturday for the Gamecocks’ game against Vanderbilt, threw for 8,435 yards in three seasons at Kentucky before being selected first overall in the 1999 NFL Draft.
Garcia “is a guy who has taken a lot of heat throughout his career from Coach (Steve) Spurrier,” Couch said. “It’s really impressive to see what he is doing this year. He has excellent playmakers around him.”
Couch called Spurrier’s handling of Garcia “interesting.”
“At least he is consistent,” Couch said. “When you are a high school kid coming out and you sign with him, you know the deal. He’s going to pull you, and he’s going to yell at you. It’s part of the deal. Coach Spurrier demands his quarterbacks play at a certain level. He doesn’t settle for anything less than being really, really good.”
Garcia’s performance this year has been helped by his maturation process and by the emergence of Lattimore and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, Couch said.
“I think he has come a long way in his decision making,” Couch said. “His accuracy has improved. He’s leading the team very well overall, but those guys around him don’t hurt any.”
Couch, whose only previous TV experience came at the Big Blue Network in Lexington, Ky., is in his first season of calling games for Fox.
Garcia is fourth in the SEC in passing with 221 yards per game.