Shaw: Gamecocks hope to deal with adversity

The Gamecocks have been hit with some pretty heavy blows as they reach the midpoint of the season, but sophomore quarterback Connor Shaw still remains optimistic about the ability of his team to finish out the season strong.

"We're keeping positive about it," Shaw said Tuesday. "We'll keep correcting the mistakes we're making and keep getting better."

First the Gamecocks had to deal with the dismissal of fifth-year senior quarterback Stephen Garcia. Then, last week their potential Heisman candidate, Marcus Lattimore, suffers a season ending knee injury in the last drive of the game.

But Shaw says this team has to continue to show it can deal with adversity.

"This team is pretty good at it," said Shaw. "We've had to all season. Marcus' injury is a blow to our offense as well as team. We have to step up and move on."

Shaw said it was nice to know he had Lattimore behind him, but now the team is going to have to depend on freshman Brandon Wilds to get the job done.

"I think he'll step in the role just fine."

"He's going to do whatever the coaches tell him to do," said Shaw. "Being a freshman, he's very humble. He has a very good work ethic."

Shaw knows what it's like to be on the bench waiting for a chance. He was Garcia's backup until he got his chance this year.

"I think when you're backup or whatever the case may be you have to be prepared," he said. "You're an injury away. When you're not on the field, you have to be preparing like you will be."

Injuries are what Spurrier has been worried about with more running backs out with injuries this season than Spurrier said he's had in his entire coaching career. Shaw said coaches have been on him at practice to make sure he doesn't get hurt.

"Don't take any unnecessary big hits," Shaw says the coaches have been telling him in practice. "I feel like the last two games I've done a good job of getting down."

Shaw said it is perfect timing for the Gamecocks to have a bye week because they will have time to deal with injuries and focus on the new game plan.

The Gamecocks are keeping positive about things and remembering they may not have played their very best, but they are 6-1.

"I think it's promising because we haven't played to the ability we can," said Shaw. "To be 6-1 and haven't played to the ability we can, that's great, but we can't get away with the next few games playing the way we have. "

Shaw hopes to be able to look back at the Mississippi State game not as the game they lost Lattimore, but as the game they were down and they came back for the win.

"When you're down in the 4th quarter in an SEC road game like that and you come away with the last drive," said Shaw. "It boosts your confidence as a team, as a quarterback. When we're in that situation again we'll go back to the Mississippi state game and say we can do this."

Shaw said the Mississippi State game was a good test for him and has helped him get ready to finish out the season strong.

"You have to have that road game especially SEC game under your belt," said Shaw. "I feel a lot more confident. I didn't handle it as well as I should, but it will come."

Spurrier thinks Shaw has potential to do well as quarterback for the Gamecocks.

"Connor's only played two games," said Spurrier. "I think he can learn from a bad play here and a bad play there."

Gamecock Anthem Top Stories