April 13, 2024

Jake Bentley’s early career test comes against Tennessee

Coach Will Muschamp is confident that freshman quarterback Jake Bentley can compete with Tennessee in a critical SEC East matchup.

South Carolina freshman Jake Bentley got his first taste of being an SEC quarterback last weekend. There were very few mistakes committed by the young quarterback, as Bentley completed 17 of his 26 passes for 201 yards in his debut against UMass. There was no fear to throw the long ball by the freshman either — his two touchdowns were on 16 and 24 yard passes.

Bentley’s teammates have taken notice of the poise he has under center. South Carolina has not had much success on the offensive side this season, only reaching 20 points just twice all season. In Bentley, the Gamecocks boast a more aggressive passing game that could help them make a run at a bowl game.

Standing at 6-foot-3, the freshman has the right frame for future success in the SEC. He was a four-star recruit and is the son of South Carolina assistant coach Bobby Bentley.

Bentley’s high school career ended after his junior year, due to early graduation. When he was quarterback at Byrnes High School, Bentley passed for 2,834 yards with 28 touchdowns. Leading his high school to a 12-1 record was Bentley’s lasting stamp at Byrnes. The confidence the young quarterback carries into Williams-Brice Stadium on Saturday can help fuel South Carolina to compete with an injury-plagued Tennessee team.

South Carolina went on a 27-7 run against Massachusetts, led by Bentley’s accuracy. The Gamecocks would go on to defeat UMass 34-28.

Tennessee has weaknesses in its secondary that the freshman can exploit. South Carolina’s 3-4 record shows room to grow and possible hope for a late-season turn around. The starting of Jake Bentley could be the turning point.

The potential that Bentley has shown early on can bolster optimism into an offensively-challenged South Carolina team. Coach Will Muschamp expects to compete Saturday in what could be a closer game than expected. The Gamecocks’ last four games against Tennessee have been decided by 11 total points.

Edited by Dalton King 

Featured image by Berniestew, courtesy of creativecommons.org

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