Shaw to start Saturday vs Kentucky

COLUMBIA, SC (WACH) - After struggling to watch his offense generate points through the first five games of the season Steve Spurrier is calling an audible.

Following Monday night's practice, Spurrier named Connor Shaw the starter for Saturday's game against Kentucky. Shaw takes over the starting spot from fifth-year senior Stephen Garcia who has thrown 9 interceptions, 4 touchdowns and completed just 51 percent of his passes through five games this season.

"This is his game, it's his opportunity to go play and we think he's ready,"said Coach Spurrier. "We're going to find out Saturday. As most everyone knows, our quarterback play has not been as good as we hoped. We've got to do something. Maybe some other positions were looking at also."

Criticism has been mounting against the USC offense and Garcia even before the team's 16-13 loss to Auburn this past Saturday, USC's first loss of the season.

Shaw played the first quarter of South Carolina's season opener against East Carolina, but was benched in favor of Garcia with the Gamecocks trailing 17-0. Garcia rallied the team to a 56-37 victory, and Shaw has seen limited action since.

The sophomore is looking forward to another shot at the starting spot.

"It's an opportunity I'm willing to take advantage of," said Shaw after . "I think I'm ready to play. I'm excited and we'll see how it goes this Saturday. I feel confident and I feel like I'm ready to play."

Shaw has just 252 passing yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in his college career, but, Steve Spurrier is hoping the second-year player can help jumpstart a Gamecock offense that has passed for just 4 touchdowns and 873 yards through the air.

"I just ask all the Gamecock fans to give Connor your support the same way you have all the others players here. I think hes ready to play well," said Spurrier. "It wasn't that hard a call. At some point we have to do something to shake up this offense and this is the first step. We'll see how it goes. It's Connor's game. Unless he gets hurt, this is his game."