The short answer is “no.” The slightly less short answer is “no, not yet.”
After it was announced yesterday that Connor Shaw can barely lift his arm (which sounds incredibly painful and terrifying), and therefore his status as the starter for Saturday’s home opener against ECU is uncertain, a bit of panic began to spread throughout Gamecock Nation.
Steve Spurrier described Shaw’s current situation as “wait and see,” and he’ll sit out of practice until at least Wednesday, when a final determination of whether or not he’ll be able to go on Saturday will be made. Spurrier also noted that if Shaw’s not healthy, he’s not going to play. If Shaw can’t go, it’ll be Dylan Thompson under center, at least to start.
Thompson was, to put it nicely, unimpressive in his debut Thursday against Vanderbilt. Granted, he was thrown into a somewhat tough situation, but you’d like your backup QB to be ready to go at a moment’s notice. If Thompson does get the nod for Saturday’s game, though, he’ll have had some time to prepare knowing that he’s going to be playing, which will hopefully help him be able to do things like, say, complete a pass.
Some fans seem to think that we’ll be okay no matter who our quarterback is, because we’ll be at Williams-Brice playing against East Carolina. I’m not saying the Pirates are going to play like they’re Alabama, but I don’t necessarily think they’re a pushover, either. Whoever’s taking snaps needs to be sharp – more so than any of the guys were against the Dores.
Spurrier noted that the passing game was boring on Thursday, and that was partly a function of the fact that passes just weren’t working. Obviously the offensive line needs to improve, but so do the guys who are throwing the ball.
The most important thing in all of this is the health of Shaw. While I’d love for him to be feeling good and able to play on Saturday, I’d hate for him to get reinjured or come back too soon.
As much as many of us complained about the Georgia game being moved to later in the season, it seems that we actually lucked out with that schedule change. Unless Dylan surprises us and starts lighting it up like crazy, we’re going to need Connor once we get into our stretch of conference play. Plus, I’d much rather have Thompson get his feet wet against ECU than an SEC team.
So step back from the ledge, Gamecocks. This is an unfortunate circumstance, obviously, but our second-string (and even third-string) guy needed to get playing time at some point. If Connor winds up having to miss significant time (and I hope that’s not the case), we’ll be glad Dylan got involved early on.
Plus, Shaw was uninspiring in last season’s opener, and he went on to reach BEAST MODE levels later in the season, so let’s not count Thompson out yet. Now, if Thompson continues to struggle and Shaw’s still out, then we may have a little more cause for concern.
All that being said, and no matter who’s under center come Saturday, cheer your heart out make sure you show him he’s got the support of the best fans in the country (and keep your fingers crossed there are no more injuries).