South Carolina football: It’s time for a change at quarterback

Collin Hill #15 of the South Carolina Gamecocks. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Collin Hill #15 of the South Carolina Gamecocks. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The South Carolina football team needs a new starter under center.

The Gamecocks dropped a home game to Texas A&M last Saturday, their second straight defeat at the hands of an SEC West rival. Despite having two weeks to prepare for the Aggies, South Carolina looked completely lost in all phases of the game, resulting in the worst conference loss of the Will Muschamp era in Columbia, a 48-3 drubbing.

In their last two outings, the Gamecocks have been outscored by 73 points, and a great deal of blame is being placed on the South Carolina offense, in particular, the quarterback position. Collin Hill has had his worst two performances of the season his last two times out, culminating with the Texas A&M loss where he completed just 8-of-21 passes for a total of 66 yards. He also threw two interceptions, boosting his tally to four turnovers in the last three contests.

Fans were frustrated in the game against LSU, as the coaching staff left Hill in the lineup even with the Gamecocks trailing by three touchdowns in the second half. Those frustrations only grew on Saturday, as Hill wasn’t pulled until the fourth quarter, with the team down 41-0.

The failure to remove Hill from the game spurned “Fire Muschamp” chants from the Carolina fanbase in attendance, at least those that didn’t exit Williams-Brice Stadium early.

Going into the bye week, Will Muschamp said that reserve quarterbacks Ryan Hilinski and Luke Doty would earn more reps with the first team unit, though Hill was set to earn the start. The two youngsters were said to have performed well in the off week, but apparently not well enough for coaches to have any confidence that they could have success leading the offense.

Well, after Saturday’s debacle, it’s officially time for a change under center. There’s no justifying keeping Hill in the lineup. The transfer has had nice moments over the first half of the year, but with the Gamecocks having absolutely no success while taking on two of the conference’s worst pass defenses, someone else deserves a shot.

For some reason, there seems to be little faith in Ryan Hilinski, even though the sophomore started 11 games and threw for over 2,300 yards a season ago. He’s been given little opportunity, even with the Gamecocks being involved in blowouts over three of their last four contests. And the fact that he seems to have more athletic upside than the current signal caller only adds to the ire of the fanbase.

Even after removing Hill from the offense late in the game on Saturday, the coaching staff decided to split snaps between Hilinski and freshman Luke Doty, which didn’t allow either to form any type of rhythm running the unit.

Following the loss, Will Muschamp said that there would be an open competition at quarterback. Hill won that competition in the offseason, and I’m sure Gamecock Nation has little faith that the staff will remove “their guy” from the top spot, but its time for a change.

Ryan Hilinski should be given the opportunity to lead the offense against Ole Miss next weekend. The staff needs to go away from the stubbornness that’s haunted Muschamp in his time as a head coach, in what’s becoming more and more of a throw-away season for the South Carolina football team. They can’t do any worse than the product that’s been on the field over the last two matchups. Let’s give Hilinski a chance.