When the 2015 football season started three weeks ago (already!), no one could have foreseen South Carolina Gamecocks quarterback Connor Mitch get injured and end up being shelved for a good chunk of the season, or Perry Orth starting in his place against Georgia, or Lorenzo Nunez starting in his place against Central Florida in Week Four.
Yet, that's the situation we have right now. Steve Spurrier, in his UCF week press conference today, made the announcement official as he is looking for a spark to boost his struggling team: the true freshman from Georgia will get the call under center against the Knights on Saturday.
Unless my research missed someone, Lorenzo Nunez will be the first true freshman to start at QB for South Carolina since Steve Taneyhill.— Rixon Lane (@RixonLane) September 22, 2015
"Lorenzo gives us a spark that we need in there," Spurrier says. He thinks it is the first true freshman QB he has ever started.— GamecockCentral.com (@GamecockCentral) September 22, 2015
It's somewhat surprising (but not really) since Orth was listed on the depth chart as starting his second straight game. But Nunez, in limited appearances, has looked pretty good. In mop-up duty during a 52-20 loss to the Bulldogs a few days ago, he was 4-5 for 18 yards passing and ran the ball ten times for 76 yards and a touchdown. Last week, against Kentucky, he didn't attempt a pass, but broke off a nice 33-yard run just before halftime. Although Nunez is getting the start, Spurrier said that his two other healthy QBs should see time, too.
Spurrier says Perry Orth will also play, and Michael Scarnecchia could also play.— GamecockCentral.com (@GamecockCentral) September 22, 2015
So the quarterback merry-go-round continues to turn for the Gamecocks. Will they strike gold with the first-year player? Time will tell, but if they do, that will have a impact on how things play out at the quarterback position this year and for the next several years.
The Gamecocks and Knights play Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium as Carolina looks to snap a two-game losing streak. Kickoff is set for noon and will be broadcast on ESPNU.