COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A week ago, Jake Bentley stood on the home sidelines and watched as backup Michael Scarnecchia led the Gamecocks to victory over Missouri.
This week, Bentley has no plans to be on the sidelines come Saturday and head coach Will Muschamp have plans to keep him there if he’s healthy.
“He looked good today,” Muschamp said about Bentley’s performance in practice. “I think he’s going to be fine and, at the end of the day, we’ll continue to look at some mobility things tomorrow. Again, I’m never going to put a young man in a situation where he can’t protect himself and he couldn’t have Saturday.”
Bentley said he suffered a Grade 1 MCL sprain two weeks ago. Last weekend, he went through pregame warmups in hopes of being able to play. The junior said his knee was still a little sore on Saturday, but he should be ready to go once Saturday gets here.
“It feels great,” Bentley said. “It feels great right now. Made a lot of progress the last couple days and practice was good today, wearing the brace, going through that a little bit but nothing too serious.”
Muschamp opted to go with Scarnecchia, who showed confidence in running the offense against the Tigers, and led the Gamecocks to a 37-35 win over the Tigers. For Muschamp and the Gamecocks, seeing Scarnecchia’s performance Saturday gives them confidence knowing they have another solid quarterback they can rely on.
“Certainly under the circumstances, which no one could have predicted or thought of, he played extremely well going through the weather and all the other issues we had coming down to a one-minute drive to win the game," Muschamp said. “There’s no question, but you don’t ever know 'til you see a guy do it. You either feel really comfortable about the situation or you might be a little unsure, but I was never about how Mike was going to perform.”
“I get to see that every day in practice and, going on three years now with him, he has that same confidence at practice every day making the type of throws and going through his reads confidently,” Bentley said. “So, it wasn’t really a surprise to me. I knew he was going to go in there and play well and that’s what he did.”
South Carolina will host Texas A&M on Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium at 3:30 p.m.