Shaw sparks offense

South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier said his team could have scored 70 or 80 points if it had executed better. But other than that, Connor Shaw's debut in his first SEC game as South Carolina's starting quarterback couldn't have gone much better.

Shaw passed for 311 yards against a Kentucky defense that head coach Steve Spurrier said not many teams have been able to do much against. Spurrier congratulated Shaw on an overall good game.

"It's a good start for Connor. Hopefully we'll get better and have a good offense," said Spurrier. Shaw was named starting quarterback before the Gamecocks season opener against East Carolina but fifth-year senior Stephen Garcia had started every game since.

Shaw says things were different then.

"In Charlotte I didn't feel like I was prepared," said Shaw. "We had a really good game plan [for Kentucky.] I thought we did a really good job preparing for this week."

After Garcia's performance against Auburn, Spurrier said he was ready to make a quarterback change again, but Shaw says Garcia has only been supportive of him.

"Before the game he kept telling me positive things," said Shaw. "I came off the field and he congratulated me."

Shaw said being the second string quarterback behind Garcia taught him a lot.

"I learned a lot from Stephen (Garcia); from watching coach critique me and the other quarterbacks. When your opportunities called, [you] on make the most of it."

Junior receiver Alshon Jeffery and sophomore tailback Marcus Lattimore agree that players have to make the most of an opportunity.

"Whenever your number's called you've got to be ready. He just went out there and showed up," said Jeffery about Shaw performance against Kentucky.

Shaw's play allowed the coaching staff to open up the playbook and get more creative on offense.

"We've been trying to get more guys involved. We knew we needed to open up and give the ball to some more guys," said Spurrier.

Lattimore said it didn't surprise him that Spurrier wanted to mix up the offense.

"We've got all this speed; all this quickness. We've got to use it. We used it today and you saw what the score was," said Lattimore.

Lattimore also says that he knew what Shaw was capable of along with the rest of the offense.

"This is what I expected," Lattimore said. "If we keep it going we're going to have a high powered offense."

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