CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 03: Connor Shaw #14 of the South Carolina Gamecocks runs with the ball against the South Carolina Gamecocks during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 3, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
South Carolina will be looking to continue their quest for a second straight SEC East crown with another win, but the Mississippi State Bulldogs will be looking to right the ship and get their first SEC win.
The South Carolina Gamecocks head into Starkville with a 4-1 record, amazingly, and after just coming off of a definitive quarterback change. I say definitive, because head coach Steve Spurrier can't get caught up in juggling Stephen Garcia and Connor Shaw anymore. On Tuesday, Garcia was dismissed from the football team for violating the terms of his reinstatement. The team will look to improve upon their 3-1 record in the SEC and continue to push for the SEC East crown again when they take on Mississippi State.
I'm not sure how much the Garcia issue will factor into the game, but it certainly has to be a factor. It definitely has the Gamecock faithful at Garnet and Black Attack wondering if the move should have been made sooner.
Garcia has been the starter for a very long time, and he's been with many of these players through thick and thin. He was one of the emotional center's of last season's breakthrough, after all. Therefore, some of the players may not have been comfortable with the switch to Shaw.
Mississippi State comes into the game however a disappointing 0-3 in SEC play so far, despite their preseason hype. Quarterback Chris Relf has struggled to run Dan Mullen's spread offense. Not only has Relf struggled, but Mississippi State now has a bit of a quarterback controversy of their own, as For Whom The Cowbell Tolls asks who should start.
Although Tyler Russell showed off his talent and ability to lead the MSU aerial attack with a high efficiency Saturday, Chris Relf is a senior and the defacto starter in a running option attack offense. SO that begs the question: who should be the MSU QB?
Russell came into last weeks game against Alabama-Birmingham after Relf was benched for being ineffective, and went on to complete 11 of his 13 pass attempts, including three touchdowns. The Bulldogs will hope that the switch at quarterback will help them get their first SEC win.
Game date, time: 12:00 pm ET, Saturday, October 15th
Location: Davis Wade Stadium, Starkville, MI
TV channel: ESPN3
Spread: South Carolina favored by 5 1/2
Series history: South Carolina leads 7-6
For further reading, news, discussion and more, visit Mississippi State blog For Whom The Cowbell Tolls and South Carolina's blog Garnet And Black Attack. Here’s this week’s college football TV schedule, and stay tuned to SB Nation’s college football news hub for more.