Bookmaker – Garcia Remains Gamecock QB

After a disappointing loss to the bookmaker at Auburn last week in which starting quarterback Stephen Garcia was pulled, Coach Steve Spurrier renamed Garcia the starter.

A Love/Hate Relationship
Spurrier has been frustrated with Garcia almost since the day that he stepped on campus.  Spurrier has always been tough on his quarterbacks and not afraid to call them out in public.  He felt that Garcia didn’t work hard enough or study long enough in the past and was pleased with a more serious approach by the junior quarterback heading into the 2010 season. 

The Gamecocks won their first three games of the season and scored a near landmark payout at Sbg global sportsbook in their Southeastern Conference opener when they beat the Georgia Bulldogs 17-6 as 3 point home favorites to emerge as the top challenger to Florida in the SEC East Division.

Major Letdown
South Carolina went into Auburn as a 3 point road dog and jumped out to a 20-7 lead in the 2nd quarter after Garcia completed 2 touchdown passes.  Garcia then threw a 3rd touchdown pass which put South Carolina in front 27-21 with under 5 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter and it looked as if Spurrier would get yet another big SEC win and the Gamecocks would climb in the polls.

Fumbles Costly
Garcia went from the penthouse to the outhouse in short order however as he fumbled twice in the 4th quarter and the Gamecocks could not overcome the mistakes as the powerful Auburn offense took full advantage to get the 35-27 win, which was deflating for the entire USC program.

Yanked for a freshman
Spurrier was so incensed at Garcia’s fumbling that he pulled him for freshman Connor Shaw.  It was an impulsive move by “The Old Ball Coach” and likely hurt South Carolina’s chances with the internet bookmaker as Shaw was unable to rally a comeback although on his final pass of the game he hit his intended receiver in the hands in the Auburn end zone but the pass was juggled and intercepted to clinch the game.

Defense Exposed
Another problem was the highly touted South Carolina defense that was torn to pieces for 334 yards rushing by Auburn.  The bookmaker is likely to remember that when setting the line for the October 9 matchup against #1 Alabama that follows this week’s bye.