After South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley's final pass of Saturday's loss to Florida hit the end zone turf, inches beyond the reach of tight end Hayden Hurst, someone was there to greet him when he came to the sideline.
Linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams had some words for the true freshman.
“I told him we have his back," Allen-Williams said. "It’s a long road. I’m definitely going to be back with him next year and I told him we just have to keep working, we all got to keep working."
Bentley, in only his fourth start after not playing the first six games of the year, was besieged all day by Florida's dominant defense. After three solid performances, he went 18-for-33 in his first road start, with 213 yards and his first college interception.
Never miss a local story.
He also wassacked five times for 24 yards by a defense with a fearsome, stacked defensive front and defensive backs that made his throwing windows much tighter.
Those final numbers were a product of more than his own play, and as Allen-Williams, a veteran who blossomed this season, lifted up his quarterback, he had his own take on the performance.
"At the end of the day he played a heck of a game," Allen-Williams said. "He just has to continue to keep his head up and remain confident. Jake (Bentley) is a great football player and he’s our quarterback of the future. So we're proud to go to war with him on defense.”