COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Will Muschamp wasted little time addressing the status of his starting quarterback during Tuesday’s weekly press conference.
The Gamecocks head football coach announced that the senior quarterback would be out for “an extended period of time” after suffering a mid-foot sprain, also commonly known as a Lisfranc injury.
“He’s still under medical evaluation,” Muschamp said. “I’ll know more the latter part of the week exactly whether he needs surgery. If he needs surgery, it’s going to be a season-ending injury. If not, it’s six or eight weeks, but again, I don’t want to comment much further than that right now because I don’t know a lot more than that until we continue to get another evaluation.”
Muschamp did confirm Bentley was injured on the last play of the game against North Carolina on Saturday at Bank of America Stadium. Muschamp said the injury happened after Bentley slipped on the turf in the final moments of the contest.
“It hurt for Jake,” Muschamp added. “Senior year, he’s given a lot to this program. Outstanding young man. Exactly how you want someone to represent the University of South Carolina. Just hurt for him during this time.”
With Bentley out for an extended period of time, backup Ryan Hilinski will get his first start for the Gamecocks. Now that Hilinski will get his shot, the players believe he can step in and be productive as well.
“He’s a good player,” said Gamecocks buck DJ Wonnum. “He’s really talented. I feel like, when his time is called, he’ll be ready.”
Muschamp also noted that Dakereon Joyner would still see some time for the Gamecocks in a similar role.
“Dakereon will play,” Muschamp said. ”Dakereon’s role really hasn’t changed since over a week and a half ago. He’s still going to play some quarterback snaps and we’ve got some things that he’ll do there. He also will still continue to play wideout and Ryan will be the starter. I’ve got all the confidence in the world that he’s going to do an outstanding job. He’s prepared himself for this opportunity.”
The Gamecocks will play their first home game of the season Saturday against Charleston Southern at noon.