Dylan Thompson strives to provide leadership for South Carolina

Dylan Thompson hopes to provide leadership to his South Carolina teammates. (Getty)

Dylan Thompson hopes to provide leadership to his South Carolina teammates. (Getty)

Dylan Thompson waited for this chance.

Connor Shaw is gone. Thompson is South Carolina’s starting quarterback and has his opportunity to build on what Shaw helped build.

Thompson threw for a career-high 366 yards and four TDs, but the run game and defense struggled mightily in an opening 52-28 loss to Texas A&M.

Who says roosters can’t lay eggs?

Where does South Carolina go from here? The Gamecocks have a chance to work out the issues against East Carolina on Saturday before Georgia arrives in Columbia on Sept. 13.

“It’s only one game. We’ve got to stay positive as coaches, players, fans,” coach Steve Spurrier told the media this week. “It’s one game, and we’ll see if we can find out what we need to do better. Coach a little better. Play a little better. … Coach a LOT better, play a LOT better, is what I should stay.”

Thompson, as the quarterback, feels it’s his responsibility to pull his teammates out of the doldrums.

“That’s my role on this team, to be somebody everybody can look to, no matter what the situation is, if we’re winning by 50 or getting blown out,” Thompson told The (Columbia) State this week. “We are on the latter end of that right now and we have to come out here and work.”

Thompson threw four TD passes against Texas A&M, but completed only half of his passes (20 of 40) and threw a third-quarter interception.

Shaw, who is from Flowery Branch and is on the Cleveland Browns’ practice squad, was 27-5 as a starter and has the most career wins among South Carolina QBs.

“I really felt Connor Shaw would be the most difficult player in college football to replace this year,” CBS analyst Gary Danielson said on a conference call on Wednesday. “I just thought Steve really didn’t know how good he had it with Connor.”

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