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Aug. 25, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The University of South Carolina held a two-hour workout Tuesday afternoon at the practice fields. Highlighting the afternoon was the news that South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier had named sophomore quarterback Connor Mitch the starter for the season opener on Thursday, Sept. 3 vs. North Carolina.

“Connor will have every opportunity to take the reins and run with it,” said head coach Steve Spurrier. “The competition was extremely close but we had to make a decision. We will give him all the support we can. As long as he takes care of the ball, keeps his head calm, he very easily could be the quarterback the entire year. I felt like he was slightly ahead of the other guys. The other guys were pretty close. What the competition has done is get two other guys ready to play. If (Connor) sprains his ankle or can’t play we will be in good hands with Perry (Orth) or Michael (Scarnecchia), and also Lorenzo (Nunez), he is capable of playing a bit.”

This will be Mitch’s first career start in a Gamecock uniform. Mitch played last season in two games as a redshirt freshman and connected on 2-for-6 passes for 19 yards in limited duty. Mitch shared co-Freshman Most Improved honors for the offense this past spring with tight end Jacob August.

“I have to win (the starting spot) every day,” said Mitch. “Coach Spurrier said if I keep moving the ball, don’t make mistakes, don’t turn it over, obviously I can keep leading the team. I (have to go) and do that.”

Those who did not participate in Tuesday’s practice included safety Antoine Wilder (right knee sprain), tight end Connor Redmond (back), kicker Joseph Charlton (back) and quarterback Gage Pucci (knee). The Gamecocks will return to the practice fields Wednesday afternoon at 4:15 p.m.