Just when you think youve heard it all
Steve Spurrier said Connor Shaw, after letting out an injured howl that was heard over on the Disney World Teacups ride, not only practiced on Monday, but threw a ball 55-60 yards. Then on Wednesday, Spurrier said Shaw will start on Saturday. All of us media types shook our heads, again amazed at how iron-tough the Gamecocks senior quarterback is.
But that was, apparently, the wrong thing to say to a small segment of USC fans. Youd have thought we reported that Steve Taneyhill had hair plugs.
For some reason, some fans cant stand that Shaw will play. I know the most popular player on the team is always the backup quarterback, but come on.
Shaw gives USCs offense a different look. He keeps defenses off-balance by being able to run. I like Dylan Thompson, but he cant run like Shaw can and keep defenses in constant adjustment mode (Note: Scrambling is not running).
Yet, thats what some fans dont want. They want Shaw to stay back and throw downfield, quit putting himself in harms way and take care of the ball. Never mind that USC receivers have struggled to get open early all season and that it would make the offense predictable.
One guy claimed Shaw faked the injury because he was ashamed he fumbled, which led to his miraculous recovery this week. Another said that with Shaw under center, the best USC could hope for was a two- or three-loss season with an Outback Bowl.
And thats a problem? Since when do the Gamecocks get to be disappointed with a New Years Day bowl game? Sorry, but when the great majority of USCs history has been wishing for a winning season, a two- or three-loss season is parade-worthy, not an object of scorn.
Shaw gives USC the best chance to win, and win a lot. Hes not 20-4 as a starter by accident.