Stephen Garcia hasn't played bad this season, but he hasn't played well consistently, either. Unless we get better play from our fourth-year RS Jr quarterback, the Gamecocks will not have the season we are hoping for. 150 yards and a 2:2 TD to INT ratio against Furman won't cut it. Worse than those numbers is the continual display of poor decision making. He simply refuses to throw the ball away at times, and I've seen twelve-year-olds do a better job of protecting the football on the run. If your heart doesn't drop nearly every time he takes off, it should. Sure, he's gained yardage, and only lost one fumble in the first three games (albeit a very critical one that would have changed the complexion of the Georgia game had Washaun Ealey not given it back to us on the goal line), but he bumbles along carrying the object of everyone on the field's desire like it's yesterday's homework assignment that he's already been given credit for. What bothered me most this past Saturday was the play where he lofted the ball in the air as he was being slammed down by a Furman defender. That's the kind of thing you see a freshman QB in high school do. It's simply inexcusable for the starting QB on an SEC Championship contending football team.
Fans that think Garcia doubters are being too harsh on him like to point out his completion percentage, but what would it look like if you take away the numerous spot pass WR screen play completions? I think it's obvious that we'd be looking at a different number. Our QB is physically talented enough to get the job done. He's made some good throws and had some good runs, but Garcia MUST eliminate the bonehead mistakes and protect the football for South Carolina to get to Atlanta this year. The reality is that we have a shot. We really do. The other reality is that, right now, I expect Garcia to make errors in big games that leave us at home watching Florida play Alabama again. Prove me wrong, Stephen. Please, prove me wrong.