We wouldn't go nearly so far as to say that South Carolina's spring practices have been cursed. But we also don't think there's any arguing with the fact that -- as the old Chinese curse goes -- Steve Spurrier is living in interesting times this spring.
Start with last Thursday, when (as you may have heard) Gamecock signee, consensus national No. 1 recruit, and action figure Jadeveon Clowney was briefly detained by police at a Columbia bar Clowney had entered unlawfully. Though Clowney was not arrested and cleared of any wrongdoing in the robbery that led to the detainment, the incident made national headlines nonetheless.
So to emphasize his (future) player's innocence, Spurrier elected last Friday to do what any other coach would do in this situation: arrange for the local police chief to stop by during his post-practice meeting with the media and handcuff him in a simulated detainment , of course. And yes, via The Big Spur , there's video of this handcuffing:
When we say "any other coach" would do the same thing here, we actually mean "no other coach," naturally. It's great to see that even if Spurrier isn't quite lighting up scoreboards the way he did in his Florida salad days, his sense of the theatrical has remained entirely intact.
By his own admission, though, if his quarterbacks's performance thus far this spring is any indication, his offense this fall won't have much use for flash or theatricality. Stephen Garcia and Connor Shaw did not fare well in Saturday's first scrimmage of spring camp, and Spurrier did little to hide his disappointment:
Senior Stephen Garcia, in his first scrimmage action since his suspension last week, was 5 for 13 for 51 yards ... Backup Connor Shaw was often shaky in his decision-making, going 4 for 14 for 47 yards and an interception on a deep ball. He did make one nice throw on an out route to Lamar Scruggs, a 14-yard pickup as he was getting hit.
Overall, Spurrier was concerned with Shaw's timing and his ability to get the ball out quickly. He thinks, too, that the sophomore is deciding to run much too quickly, a complaint he's historically had about Garcia ...
As Spurrier heard Garcia and Shaw’s stats, he repeated them and sort of rolled his eyes.
“I wish one of them would just hit them all and take his steps and throw it when he’s supposed to,” Spurrier said. “That doesn’t happen. That’s why we’ll probably run the ball about 50 times a game, hopefully, with Marcus (Lattimore) and Kenny Miles and Eric Baker.”
Complaining, loudly, about his quarterbacks is obviously nothing new for Spurrier. But he's right that those stats are the furthest thing from inspiring, particularly considering Garcia and Shaw were going up against a secondary that finished dead last in the SEC in opponent's quarterback rating in conference play. Even with a back as superhuman as Lattimore, running the ball 50 times a game isn't going to produce a second straight trip to Atlanta.
Spurrier knows that, which is why his frustration with his quarterbacks is so palpable. It's just one more interesting story to watch in what's becoming a very interesting spring in Columbia.