If you’ve followed South Carolina football for pretty much anything length of time — unless it was from about 2009-2013, and you then subsequently tuned out — the idea that the Gamecock program is cursed is not a new one to you. There’s been no shortage of unfathomable bad luck, whether in the way the ball bounces at the end of a close game or how the injury bug seems to selectively ravage critical players.
Well, friends, here we are again: Sophomore quarterback Luke Doty, the incumbent starter poised to take a leap in his second year with the team, is out indefinitely after getting his foot trampled in practice.
Coach Shane Beamer calmed some of the ensuing hysteria by countering original reports of a fracture, saying Doty’s ankle is just sprained and it’s not anything that puts his season in jeopardy. Still, he’ll be on the shelf for at least the Gamecocks’ opener against Eastern Illinois on Sept. 4, meaning fans will get a look at either true freshman (and Bojangles sponsored!) Colten Gauthier or Division II transfer Jason Brown (who admittedly put up some gaudy stats on that level, but is still an unknown in Power 5 play). According to WACH reporter Mike Uva, Gauthier is a little farther ahead between the two:
From everything I’ve been told, freshman Colten Gauthier has the leg up on Jason Brown in the QB competition, heading into today’s scrimmage. A lot can change as we get closer to Sept. 4, but w/ the news about Luke Doty, don’t write off Gauthier, who worked with the 2s yesterday.— Mike Uva (@Mike_Uva) August 14, 2021
I don’t know if that’s comforting, but it is what it is. Uva almost mentioned that converted receiver Dakereon Joyner has been taking some snaps at quarterback as well, so we may also see a return of him in wildcat formations.
While it’s certainly fortuitous that this season begins against an FCS foe and not, say, an ACC opponent as in years past, this is still a tough spot for the quarterback room to be in (especially as fans watch last season’s departed starter, Ryan Hilinski, set to take the reins at Northwestern). It’s a tough way to start the Shane Beamer era as well, but hopefully Doty comes back as soon as he’s able, and better than ever.