After the South Carolina Gamecocks’ season-opener against Southern Miss, it appeared quarterback Stephen Garcia was taking that next step as a game manager, solid passer, and preventing turnovers.
Fast forward to after South Carolina’s game against Furman, and game manager is the only credit that Garcia deserves.
After a mediocre showing in the final three quarters of the game against Georgia, the goal against the Paladins was to gain momentum and confidence heading into a huge SEC game at Auburn.
However, in the Gamecocks 38-19 victory over Furman, this was hardly the case. Garcia had his worst game in the previous two seasons, throwing two interceptions and making some questionable decisions in the pocket.
It is just a continuation of the problem that has surrounded Garcia in his tenure as South Carolina’s starting quarterback: consistency. He can never seem to put two games back-to-back.
Garcia, if he wants to prove himself as one of the SEC’s top quarterbacks, he is going to have to pick up the pace. With all of his talents, Garcia should shine against a smaller school like Furman.
Instead, it is a game with two interceptions, under intense pressure, and poor decision making. Not exactly what you want if you are Steve Spurrier heading into Auburn.
Spurrier admitted in his press conference that he might have to find a little more playing time for freshman Connor Shaw. Some of the pressure will also continue to be removed from Garcia with the emergence of freshman running back Marcus Lattimore.
What Spurrier wants is an effective game manager. Some of his best seasons at Florida came with game managing quarterbacks such as Danny Wuerffel, Shane Matthews, and even Jesse Palmer. Also, some of Spurrier’s best offenses had great running games.
Everything is there for Garcia to be a successful quarterback. As it has been during his entire time at South Carolina, it all comes down to how much effort and work Garcia wants to put in, to take that next step.
The snap from center is in your hands Garcia, what are you going to do now?