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Gamecock QBs struggle as competition’s pared by one

We don’t know quite yet just who will trigger South Carolina’s offense, but we do know who it won’t be.

Earlier this week, USC officials confirmed that Brendan Nosovitch has asked for, and been granted a release from, his Gamecock scholarship. The move comes a short time after he was listed fourth on the team’s spring depth chart.

It also comes roughly eight months after Nosovitch had considered transferring from the football program, but ultimately opted to stay with the Gamecocks.

Nosovitch was a three-star member of USC’s 2012 recruiting class who has attempted two passes in his career, with both of those coming in 2013. In 2014, he moved from QB to tight end, although he mainly saw action on special teams. The Pennsylvania native switched back to quarterback to start the spring, although he lagged behind the other three in a competition that’s expected to extend into summer camp.

The trio of remaining contenders vying to replace Dylan Thompson under center are redshirt sophomore Connor Mitch, the presumptive favorite, redshirt freshman Michael Scarnecchia and redshirt junior Perry Orth. Those players struggled mightily in a scrimmage Saturday, completing a combined 10-of-22 passes for 121 yards, no touchdowns and an interception.

Not surprisingly, the Ol’ Ball Coach didn’t mince many words when summing up that subpar effort.

“The quarterbacks, none of them shined. It was not encouraging on the offensive side. ... Connor Mitch held the ball too much at times and threw late at times, as did all of them,” head coach Steve Spurrier said in quotes distributed by the team. “But the protection probably wasn’t all that super at times either. Hopefully we can learn from it. The offense did a lot better [Friday] than they did [Saturday], but the defense did better than they did [Friday]. We’ve got a lot of work to do, a lot of improvement to do.”

Lorenzo Nunez will enter the quarterback fray this summer as a true freshman. A four-star member of the Gamecocks’ 2015 recruiting class, Nunez was rated as the No. 16 dual-threat quarterback in the country and the No. 26 player at any position in the state of Georgia by Rivals.com.