South Carolina notes: Connor Shaw says ‘it’s pretty special’ to be Gamecocks’ winningest QB
COLUMBIA — Moments after South Carolina’s win against Coastal Carolina, Connor Shaw hadn’t chatted yet with radio broadcaster and former South Carolina quarterback Todd Ellis.
Congratulations were sure to follow as soon as USC’s senior exited the postgame media room.
Shaw became the Gamecocks’ all-time winningest quarterback with a 70-10 win against Coastal Carolina on Saturday, surpassing Ellis. Rarely in the mood to reflect, Shaw took a moment to express how much the ultimate quarterback record meant to him.
“Obviously, it’s pretty special to me,” Shaw said. “Just the way we did it today, too. Our whole offense did really great, and it was fun to watch.”
Shaw lasted three series — all of them ending in touchdowns — on his way to becoming USC’s winningest quarterback. He completed 8-of-11 passes for 115 yards and rushed five times for 39 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown.
It was Shaw’s first rushing touchdown since spraining his right knee five weeks ago at Tennessee.
“This is the best (the knee has) felt since the Tennessee game,” Shaw said. “Obviously, it was good to get out there. I don’t know if I got tackled once, maybe pushed out of bounds. It’s good to get out of there with no injuries, but I thought it felt good.”
Shaw outgained Coastal Carolina 154-48 in yardage before being pulled for backup Dylan Thompson. Next week, Shaw will try to win his second game as a starter against Clemson.
With a 25-5 record as a starter, Shaw also has a better record than Ellis’ 24-16-3. That fact wasn’t lost on coach Steve Spurrier.
“I have to remind Todd that,” Spurrier said, joking. “I didn’t know he had that many losses over those years. I’m just kidding, though. Obviously Connor played very well early (Saturday).”
Defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward said he planned to play junior defensive end Jadeveon Clowney on third downs early Saturday, but he wasn’t needed.
Instead of risking injury in a game that was sure to be a blowout, Clowney rested Saturday. He wasn’t alone. With Clemson looming, USC running back Mike Davis, defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles and safety Brison Williams were kept on the sidelines.
“I need a healthy Jadeveon next week,” Ward said afterward.
Spurrier said he expects Clowney, Quarles and Davis to be available next week. Williams did not dress Saturday and is questionable for next week.
After missing seven weeks with a dislocated left elbow, sophomore Brandon Wilds returned Saturday for his first playing time since Sept. 28 at Central Florida.
He didn’t waste any time shedding the rust.
Wilds had 45 yards on four carries during his first drive of the game, which ended with his 1-yard touchdown run. He finished with 62 yards and two touchdowns on seven carries.
“He’s a big back that can knock that pile backward,” Spurrier said. “So he could be instrumental in the next two or three balls games. Very instrumental. He runs that zone read and off-tackle plays very well. So it was good to see Brandon having a good game.”
South Carolina’s 70 points were the most in the Spurrier era, surpassing the 69 points it scored against Troy in 2010. … Sophomore running back Shon Carson had his first career touchdown in his first start. Freshman receiver Pharoh Cooper and running back Jamari Smith also had their first career touchdowns. … The Gamecocks have now won 32 straight games against non-BCS opponents, and 13 against teams from outside the SEC. … The win was Spurrier’s 75th at South Carolina.