South Carolina grad assistant Zeb Noland is the team's Week 1 starting QB

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South Carolina's Zeb Noland has gone from graduate assistant to starting quarterback in a matter of weeks.

According to the team's depth chart, Noland will be the team's starter for Saturday's game against Eastern Illinois. Noland was forced into QB duty during practice thanks to presumed starter Luke Doty's foot injury. And Noland has impressed the coaching staff enough during practice to earn the starting job. 

Noland, 24, joined new coach Shane Beamer's coaching staff this offseason with one year of college eligibility remaining. Noland played QB at Iowa State and North Dakota State and was the Bison's starting QB in the spring of 2021 as Trey Lance was preparing for the NFL draft. 

He figured his college career was over after North Dakota State lost to Sam Houston State in the FCS playoffs. Instead, Noland is back at the top level of college football.

"I told Zeb, I told the quarterbacks, that he's going to come in here and he's going to compete like everyone else. And if he deserves the opportunity to play and can help us win football games, he will and if he can't, he won't,” Beamer said in mid-August after Noland started practicing with the team.

Noland played in nine games over two seasons at Iowa State in 2017 and 2018. He was 106-of-176 passing for 1,255 yards in his ISU career with six TD passes and two interceptions.

Doty threw 71 passes in 2020 for the Gamecocks and started the final two games of the season. He entered the 2021 season as the likely starter, especially with little depth behind him. But Doty suffered a sprained foot during practice in mid-August and is out indefinitely. 

Noland was summoned into uniform because USC didn't have a QB with top-level experience behind Doty on the depth chart. Outside of Noland, the only healthy QB on the roster who has thrown a pass in college is FCS transfer Jason Brown

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