After losing to the Tennessee Volunteers and watching Connor Shaw limp off the field with a sprained knee, the South Carolina Gamecocks recognized that their backs were against the wall in the SEC title race. Steve Spurrier hammered that into his team heading into their game against the Missouri Tigers who were in a position to wrap up the SEC East with a win on Saturday. But it was the return of Shaw in the second half that sparked South Carolina who rallied from 17 points down in the fourth quarter to win and keep their SEC title hopes alive.
Backup quarterback Dylan Thompson started the game for the Gamecocks but struggled against a pretty tough Missouri defense. He failed to get any points on the board for South Carolina. In the third quarter, Spurrier turned back to Shaw who campaigned to get back into the game despite still being limited by the knee injury. He made an instant impact, racking up 201 yards passing and three touchdowns in just over a quarter and a couple of overtimes.
It was a gutsy performance from Shaw that will be remembered for a long time at South Carolina. More importantly, it provided a spark for the Gamecocks who were on the verge of getting knocked out of the SEC race but who are now just a game back of Missouri with the all-important tie-breaker. They now have a great opportunity to sneak in to the SEC title game if they can win out and Missouri takes one more loss down the stretch, which is possible with a tough game at the end of the regular season against the Texas A&M Aggies.
If Shaw can be a spark for the South Carolina offense, the Gamecocks have a very good opportunity to break into the SEC title game at season’s end. Does Connor Shaw have a few more uses in the Superman cape he donned for the rally against Missouri?