October 17, 2007

Smelley: I Intend To Remain The Starter

Steve Spurrier's revelation Tuesday that former starting quarterback Blake Mitchell could see his first action in four games this Saturday when South Carolina faces Vanderbilt has Chris Smelley's competitive juices flowing.

The redshirt freshman from Tuscaloosa, Ala. doesn't intend to give up his starting role without a fight, and says he's played well enough to remain the starter.

"I'm going in as the starter and I'm planning to play the whole game," Smelley said. "If Blake comes in, he'll do a good job. He's been preparing well. I think I've played well and the team has a lot of confidence in me. I still have the ability to lead the team."

Spurrier said Wednesday that both quarterbacks would play in the first half against Vanderbilt, which has lost seven games in a row to the Gamecocks. After that, USC "will go from there," he said.

"That coach's call, he's got a reason for everything he does," Smelley said. "He's told me I've played real well so far. We'll see what happens. I'm just going to go out there and play like I've been doing every game, giving it all I've got and putting the team in position to win."

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