Spurrier looks ahead

South Carolina head football coach Steve Spurrier said Wednesday during the SEC teleconference that he is disappointed fifth-year senior quarterback Stephen Garcia didn't find a way finish out his career. But Spurrier also said the situation is over now and the team has to move on.

South Carolina head football coach Steve Spurrier said Wednesday during the SEC teleconference that he is disappointed fifth-year senior quarterback Stephen Garcia didn't find a way finish out his career.

But Spurrier also said the situation is over now and the team has to move on.

"As a coach you take the players you've got and get ready to go play and that's all you can do," said Spurrier. "Our comfort level is what it is. Connor (Shaw) is our starter. We're certainly hoping he can stay healthy."

Garcia had started over 30 games for South Carolina, ending his career with 7,597 passing yards, completing 589-of-1021 passes with 47 touchdowns and 41 interceptions.

This season Garcia had struggled and Spurrier said a lot of people questioned why a quarterback change wasn't made earlier after watching Shaw's performance against Kentucky.

"We were still winning those games," said Spurrier. "I guess there is something about a coach sticking with their quarterback while they're winning."

Spurrier said Shaw had an overall good game last week.

"You need to give your quarterback confidence he's going to play the game. We did that last week," Spurrier says.

Shaw now has pressure on him because he has little experience and the quarterbacks behind him have even less. Spurrier said the main goal is to keep Shaw healthy.

"We don't want Connor running, but he's a good runner so he's going to do that a little bit," he says.

Both of Shaw's backups did get a chance to play against Kentucky. Both quarterbacks scored the first touchdown of their careers.

Spurrier said they probably won't know who the backup for Shaw will be until the pregame warm-ups.

"Dylan (Thompson) and Andrew (Clifford) are about even," Spurrier says. "It might depend on who has the better pregame warm-up. That's what happened last week."

Spurrier says Shaw knows he needs to improve, but the coaches don't expect him to be perfect either.

"He's pretty levelheaded young man," said Spurrier. He's certainly capable of making the plays when they're there."

Spurrier said he also expects everyone else to step up because of Shaw's inexperience.

"It's very important the guys rally around Connor."

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