SEC Football Media Days Report: South Carolina

By Mike Gegenheimer

The Daily Reveille, Louisiana State U. via UWIRE

HOOVER, Ala. – For possibly the first time in his career, South Carolina Coach Steve Spurrier may have to rely on his team’s run game more than his bread-and-butter: a vertical passing attack.

“I don’t know if we’ll be a big passing team or a big running team,” Spurrier said. “Probably be more of a running team, play defense and pick your spots to throw the ball… A little different than what I’ve coached in the past. As all of us know, you can win a bunch of ballgames doing it that way.”

A former Heisman winning quarterback for his alma mater, Florida, Spurrier has a reputation for being less than patient with players who dare attempt to play his former position.

Spurrier appeared to be pleased with South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw’s development Tuesday at Southeastern Conference Media Days however, which is odd, considering Shaw’s natural inclination to be a scrambling quarterback as opposed to the pocket passers Spurrier typically creates.

“[Spurrier has] been there and done that,” Shaw said. “He’s pretty much a perfectionist. You have to have thick skin, but I know that by now, and that’s what you want so you can get better as a player.

In his speech, Spurrier compared Shaw to former Florida quarterback Tim Tebow by saying that Shaw can take a pass rush and get away to possibly save the play and make the first down.

However, Shaw isn’t the only reason for a switch to a more predominantly run first style of offense.

The Gamecocks have one of the best tailbacks in the nation in junior Marcus Lattimore, who is coming off a knee injury against Mississippi State that cut his 2011 season short.

Lattimore is a preseason Heisman candidate who recorded 818 yards and 10 touchdowns through six and a half games before his injury.

“The doctors can do wonderful things now with those knee surgeries,” Spurrier said. “Marcus rehabbed it beautifully, done everything they asked and probably a little bit more. He should be ready to go.”

With Lattimore back to full strength, the Gamecocks will look to improve on their No. 25 ranked rushing offense – third in the SEC.

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