South Carolina’s Jake Bentley gives Muschamp a first in his head coaching tenure
South Carolina knows who’ll be under center in “16. Muschamp played QB musical chairs at Florida. The consistency will be a first in his coaching career.
South Carolina football doubled its win total from the 2015 season going 6-7 under first-year head coach Will Muschamp. A major knock on Muschamp was his inability to pick a quarterback at Florida. In year one with the Gamecocks, he’s already got his starter for the next few years in sophomore Jake Bentley.
Bentley didn’t begin the season as the starter, but he won the job against Umass and kept it through the rest of the season. For a freshman quarterback, he played beyond his years last season. He threw for 1,420 yards, nine touchdowns against four interceptions while completing 65.8 percent of his passes.
The South Carolina quarterback rejuvenated the Gamecocks’ previously anemic offense recording five quality starts in seven games. Bentley completed at 74 percent of his passes in three of those games and recorded zero picks in four of the starts. He took care of the ball well and kept the team in games with Muschamp’s vaunted defense. The formula resulted in a 4-3 record over that span which was better than any starter over the past two seasons.
Bentley has a near prototypical body standing 6-foot-3 and weighing 223-pounds. His bigger body helped him absorb contact and break out of sacks. He also has an underrated scrambling ability. His production doesn’t mirror that, but he can make plays on the move.
The only two starts Bentley struggled in were against premier defenses in Florida and Clemson, which is understandable. Those defenses featured future NFL Draft picks and caused problems for the young signal caller.
Nonetheless, this is a great position to have solidified for Muschamp. During his time at Florida, he started six different quarterbacks and never got a passing attack going. With Bentley, he’ll have stability for at least the next few seasons.
A 6-7 record in 2016 will easily rise in a few years. Bentley and South Carolina are a young squad with a great defensive head coach. It could be a quick resurgence for the Gamecocks