The questions were there this week for South Carolina as starting quarterback Connor Shaw was questionable due to his injured shoulder suffered in the Vanderbilt game.
Shaw was able to return to practice on Wednesday and Thursday giving hope that he would be available to start on Saturday against East Carolina. However, that wasn't the case as Dylan Thompson received the start for the Gamecocks.
It was the right call as Thompson came out firing right away for the Gamecocks.
It was evident from the start that Steve Spurrier and South Carolina aimed to get this passing game going as Thompson threw three passes on the Gamecocks' first scoring drive of five plays, including a big 53-yard completion to Damiere Byrd. He would close the quarter with 136 yards and one touchdown.
Thompson's confidence level got a big boost from before the game thanks to a chat with Coach Steve Spurrier.
Coach Spurrier gave me a big boost of confidence. He told me he had confidence in me just before the game.
It's obvious the talk did wonders for Thompson as his confidence level continued to grow as the game went on.
The fun wouldn't stop there for Thompson as the Gamecocks continued the aerial attack against East Carolina and he would finish the first half with 216 yards passing and two touchdowns.
The third quarter was more of the same for the Gamecocks as Thompson continued his impressive play well into the fourth quarter.
Thompson's final stat line looked like this: 330 yards on 21-of-37 with three touchdowns and no interceptions. These are numbers that will make Steve Spurrier smile all weekend long.
Steve Spurrier said they were real proud of Dylan in his first start. He said the confidence he played with was thrilling to see for the entire coaching staff.
Another big reason for Thompson's success was his ability to spread the ball around in the passing game. 11 different Gamecocks had receptions in this game and Thompson said they all had confidence that he could get the job done.
All the receivers came into my room (the morning before the game) and said they've got my back. These guys are leaders and gave me a big boost and that was huge for me.
Coach Spurrier mentioned after the game that's he got two quarterbacks he can win with now and Thompson says that while he appreciates the comments, he knows he'll have to come back ready to work on Monday.
It's great whenever Coach says something good about you. I'll try my best to forget this and come back on Monday ready to work.
There will be some people out there that will try to start a quarterback controversy between Thompson and Connor Shaw, but Thompson knows his role right now.
I don't think we should forget how great Connor is. My job as the backup is always be ready. All week I got my mind focused on it's my week to show what I can do. I wanted to get off to a great start and wanted to come out and have fun.
When asked whether or not he thinks he should challenge for the starting job, Thompson firmly stated this:
I don't think we need to go that far. I'm the backup quarterback right now.
For a guy making his first career start, Thompson certainly showed he can be more than a backup quarterback.
I'm sure Steve Spurrier is happy he stepped up big for the Gamecocks against East Carolina.
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