COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Over the last four weeks, the South Carolina offense has been clicking on all cylinders, but Jake Bentley’s performance against Clemson this past Saturday has given the Gamecocks even more confidence.
Bentley threw for a career-high 510 yards and 5 touchdowns against the No. 2 Tigers. His play on Saturday wasn’t just a milestone for him. It was historic, according to head coach Will Muschamp. The effort, one would think, would be good enough to take home conference accolades.
“I do think it’s important when a young man does some special things to get recognized for it,” Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp said. “He’s the first quarterback in Southeastern Conference history to throw for that many yards against a top five team and five touchdowns. In the history of the league, [that’s] never been done before. That’s pretty impressive in my opinion. I’ve been in this league a long time, so I have learned. We have a saying, ‘It Just Means More.’ It just means more sometimes depending on what your logo is. Call it like it is.”
Vanderbilt’s Kyle Shurmur and Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa were named the SEC’s Co-Offensive Players of the Week after wins over Tennessee and Auburn respectively. Bentley and the Gamecocks came out on the losing end of an offensive shootout against No. 2 Clemson 56-35.
Still, it’s an effort fans have been waiting for, but the players could tell something special was coming from the junior quarterback.
“I knew Jake wanted to have a good game,” said Gamecocks tight end Kiel Pollard. “All week, he was focused. You could tell he was just ready to play.”
While Bentley was able to statistically put up the best game of his career at Carolina, he understands that it could have been better.
“We played well against a really good defense,” Bentley said. “I think that’s the biggest thing that a lot of guys took away. Not to be negative, but there was a lot of stuff we could’ve cleaned up and been even better at. [There were] definitely a lot of positives in the game but definitely some things we left out there that we need to get better at.”
Snubbed or not, the Gamecocks are solely focused on their regular season finale against a 4-7 Akron squad, whose most notable win of the year came at the expense of Big Ten West champion Northwestern.
Saturday’s game between the Zips and Gamecocks will take place Saturday at noon at Williams-Brice Stadium. The game can be seen on the SEC Network’s alternate channel. Check your local listings for the channel number.