COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Not even Steve Spurrier knows who South Carolina's No. 1 quarterback is these days.
"We might put (reserve) Zac Brindise out there first," the Gamecocks' coach said Wednesday.
That would be a surprise since walk-on Brindise is the brother of one of Spurrier's old Florida quarterbacks, Noah Brindise, and has never taken a snap for the Gamecocks. But with few other options left to spark an offense that has yet to live up to Spurrier's standards under starters Chris Smelley, Stephen Garcia and Tommy Beecher, the coach just might be serious.
"Stephen and Chris do better coming off the bench. Maybe if somebody else is the starter, they'd play better. I don't know," Spurrier said with obvious frustration.
Spurrier had hoped the Gamecock QBs would benefit from some intense bye-week practices. However, freshman Garcia didn't get much work with the starters on Wednesday because of what Spurrier called a sore throwing shoulder.
"He acted like he didn't want to play today, so we held him out," the coach said. "Something was bothering him, so he didn't do that much," Spurrier added.
Maybe it was the six times LSU sacked Garcia on Saturday night in South Carolina's 24-17 loss. Or the forearm shot Garcia took from umpire Wilbur Hackett Jr. It was hard to tell since Spurrier, who approves player interview requests, wouldn't let Garcia meet with the media.
Garcia rallied the Gamecocks (5-3, 2-3 SEC) to a victory two games ago at Kentucky, earning Spurrier's praise and his first career start against the defending national champs. Garcia played with poise early on, guiding South Carolina to a 17-10 halftime lead and raising fans hopes the Gamecocks had finally found the guy to run Spurrier's attack.
But South Carolina couldn't break through the rest of the way, managing only 42 yards in the final two quarters. Garcia struggled as well. He threw for 160 yards and a touchdown in the opening half. After the break, he had 55 yards passing and an interception.
Beecher, who started the season opener, also took some snaps, as did Brindise and Smelley, Spurrier said.
Smelley started the next six games and the Gamecocks went 4-2.
South Carolina needs to sharpen its attack, especially with its defense leading the SEC and ranking sixth in the nation.
"Of course, you want each team to convert every down, convert a touchdown every time, the defense get a pick every time, get a turnover every time," linebacker Marvin Sapp said. "If they don't, then that's when the other side of the team has to support the other and play their hardest."