Steve Spurrier wasn’t ready to announce a change at quarterback Sunday, but South Carolina’s coach seemed close to sitting down senior Stephen Garcia.
“If we have any changes, we’ll announce them Monday or Tuesday. That’s about all I can say,” Spurrier said one day after the Gamecocks lost their first game of the season, 16-13 to Auburn. “We’ve coached Stephen, but Stephen seems to play very similarly about every game.”
Spurrier ended his Sunday teleconference by telling reporters he might see them after Monday night’s practice. Spurrier normally doesn’t speak to the media on Mondays.
“We have to figure out what we’re going to do,” he said.
Garcia was 9-for-23 passing for 160 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions against the Tigers. He rushed 10 times for 62 yards.
For the season, the fifth-year senior has thrown more interceptions — nine — than anyone in the country and is 100th in the NCAA in completions per game. Garcia has completed 52 percent of his passes for 844 yards and four touchdowns.
Until Saturday, when Auburn ran 92 plays to the Gamecocks’ 52, USC had survived Garcia’s struggles. The Gamecocks (4-1, 2-1 SEC) fell eight spots to No. 18 in The Associated Press poll. USC plays host to Kentucky (2-3, 0-2) on Saturday.
“We just felt like we were winning until last night and living through a lot of errors Stephen would make during the games,” Spurrier said. “We kept hoping and believing the errors were going to go away, but they don’t seem to go away.”
Sophomore Connor Shaw and redshirt freshman Dylan Thompson are candidates to replace Garcia, Spurrier indicated.
“They have done pretty well in the scrimmages,” Spurrier said.
Shaw won a preseason competition against Garcia and started the first game of the season, but he performed poorly against East Carolina and hasn’t played a significant snap since being pulled after the first quarter of that game. He is 4-for-11 for 29 yards this season.
Asked why Shaw has fallen out of the coaches’ favor, Spurrier said, “That’s not a question I can answer.”
Thompson, a redshirt freshman who was a two-star prospect coming out of Boiling Springs, has played this season but has not attempted a collegiate pass.