For the first time this season quarterback coach G.A. Mangus was available to the media following practice Wednesday afternoon. It was also the first time Mangus has spoken publically since his arrest on July 26th of this year for nuisance conduct in Greenville. The talk on Wednesday was all about football and the quarterback situation.
Senior quarterback Stephen Garcia was dismissed from the team earlier this season and was replaced by sophomore Connor Shaw.
"It's disappointing," Mangus said of Garcia's dismissal. "When you spend a lot of time with somebody and something like that happens it's a little disappointing, obviously. We wish him well and move on. Connor - you don't recruit somebody to not play. You move on and that's what we've done."
Mangus says he and Garcia has "text back and forth occasionally" and the former player is "doing fine."
Shaw has been impressive since taking over prior to the Kentucky game. The Gamecocks are 5-1 since Shaw took over after a 4-1 start with Garcia. In Shaw's first true start of his career against the Wildcats, he completed 26-of-39 passes for 311 yards and four touchdowns, and also rushed for 42 yards in a 54-3 win. For the season Shaw has completed 98-of-151 passes for 1008 yards and nine touchdown passes.
"Connor played a little bit and he's been here a while and taken a lot of reps so I think going into the season I felt like for the first time since I've been here that we actually had two guys that could play and were ready to play, which was kind of a unique situation because in the years before we didn't," Mangus said. "We just prayed not to have an injury. Connor had a great summer and a great offseason so we felt like no matter what he was going to have a chance to play for us this year anyway. When the change was made he went in there and he's played very well."
Since that Kentucky game it has been Shaw's legs that have made the biggest impact on the Gamecock offense. Shaw has rushed for 376 yards on the season, but that includes 127 yards lost on sacks and negative yards rushing. Shaw has gained 503 yards and is second on the team with six rushing touchdowns. That could have the biggest impact on Saturday's game against rival Clemson, who has struggled with mobile quarterbacks this season. Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown rushed for 162 yards and a touchdown and Georgia Tech quarterback Tevin Washington rushed for 176 yards and a touchdown against the Tigers.
"Maryland had some yards, and of course Georgia Tech – their quarterback is always going to have some yards," Mangus said. "That's their system and that's what they do. Connor obviously always gives us something there in our run game. Stephen actually had his games where he ran for some. The quarterback run has been good to us and it's something that has really helped our offense and gives us some balance when we've struggled to throw a little bit. Hopefully Connor will continue to do what he's been doing which is making some plays with his legs and arm."
Mangus speaks for first time
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