Earlier this week, I expressed the concerns of many Gamecock fans by discussing our quarterback situation. Connor was listed as a game time decision for today’s date with East Carolina. I don’t think many were surprised when Dylan Thompson was announced as the starter for the contest just prior to kickoff.
I think most of us were surprised by what happened after that. I said that without Connor Shaw, we would beat ECU. But, I also said it would be a lot closer and uglier than it should be. It’s time for me to eat a little crow, but even that tastes good with a side of victory.
Especially a victory like this one! Dylan Thompson came out confident. He managed the offense immaculately, led them to an early lead…and kept the pedal to the floor. Our backup quarterback passed for 330 yards, tossed 3 TDs and wasn’t picked off all day. He got his opportunity to shine, and he did just that.
His performance is certain to que some discussion regarding who should be the starter at quarterback next week, and going forward. For much of last season, Gamecock Nation was divided into #teamGarcia and #teamShaw. I’m eagerly awaiting a new “Dylan Thompson for QB” movement. While it feels good to see Dylan shake off last week’s performance and lead this team, let me go on the record stating that Conner Shaw is still the starting quarterback. That’s his job to lose, not Dylan’s to take.
Thompson had an exceptional performance against the Pirates this afternoon. But, to say he looked polished would be a lavish overstatement. He often threw to his first read without looking off safeties. More than a few of his passes were airmailed and could have been caught by anyone, including defensive backs. At times, he held the ball far too long and took a couple of unnecessary sacks.
His success today came from a combination of factors. First of all, HBC and staff did a marvelous job of gameplanning and preparing Dylan for the game. ECU absolutely sold out to stop the run, and continued to do so even after the good guys had mounted a couple hundred yards passing. Their adjustments were ineffective and minimal. But, Dylan did exactly what we’ve been trying to get Shaw to do for quite some time. He stood in the pocket (provided by much improved OL play) and delivered the ball.
Like all of Gamecock Nation, I am proud of Dylan Thompson. We called his number again this week. This time, he answered that call. He looked like a quality backup quarterback that we can count on to lead the team if necessary. But, he still has a long way to go if he’s going to enjoy this type of success against an SEC secondary. This is Connor Shaw’s team. I’m wouldn’t mind seeing Dylan again next week if Shaw needs more time. But, when the Missouri Tigers roll into town on Sept. 22nd, we need to see that familiar #14 in the backfield.
What do you think?
Which QB should get the start against UAB next week?
- Connor Shaw (55%, 65 Votes)
- Dylan Thompson (45%, 54 Votes)
Total Voters: 119