Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier named redshirt sophomore Connor Mitch his starting quarterback last week.
What he didn’t do was clarify whether or not there would potentially be a two-quarterback system in place, much like the one he used at Florida in the 1990s. But Spurrier spoke to the media via SEC teleconference on Wednesday morning to fortify Mitch’s role as the sole signal-caller.
“We don’t have any plans on doing that (using two quarterbacks),” Spurrier said via WLTX.com’s Ron Aiken. “Connor Mitch is our starter. We’re trying to give him all the confidence and support we can. We believe he can go the distance not only in this game but throughout the course of the season.”
Given Mitch’s inexperience (six career passes), media members wondered whether Spurrier would revert to a dual-QB system that he notably employed with the Gators in 1997 (Doug Johnson and Noah Brindise) and 2000 (Rex Grossman and Jesse Palmer).
While he did mention that his coaching staff would be “flexible” if Mitch does not perform well, Spurrier did not indicate that his young quarterback has to worry about losing playing time anytime soon.
Unless he gets hurt, that is.
“Yeah, I still get the same nervousness, the same butterflies, the same concerns,” Spurrier said. “Gosh, what’s going to happen when our quarterback runs with the ball? He hasn’t been tackled a lot since he’s been here and we don’t tackle or hit the quarterbacks in practice or scrimmages. So there’s a lot of unknowns that concern you, but then when game time comes you kick it off or receive it and start playing, call your ball plays and see what happens.”
Earlier this week, Mitch got a vote of confidence from former Gamecock and current San Francisco 49ers QB Dylan Thompson.
“I think he’s got a good demeanor about him,” Thompson told TheState.com’s Matt Connolly, adding that he hoped USC fans would be patient with Mitch. “If he can just stay calm and trust what he knows, what the staff’s given him, I think he’ll be fine.”
Thursday night, South Carolina will take on North Carolina at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.
The game will be broadcast live at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN.
— By Alex M. Smith, Special for The Atlanta Journal-Consitution