USC Gamecocks Football

When Will Muschamp explained QB plan this week, he wanted Scarnecchia to leave mad

Why Jake Bentley over Michael Scarnecchia

Coach Will Muschamp is happy to have two quarterbacks who can help the team win games
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Coach Will Muschamp is happy to have two quarterbacks who can help the team win games

South Carolina coach Will Muschamp told his quarterbacks early in the week how things would be Saturday against Texas A&M.

Jake Bentley was likely going to be healthy, and thus would step back into the lineup, even after Michael Scarnecchia had a strong first start against Missouri.

Then Muschamp told Scarnecchia something he wanted to see.

“I told him when I met with he and Jake in my office, ‘I want you to leave pissed off. I want you to be upset,’ ” Muschamp said on his weekly call-in show. “Mike’s not that type of young man. He looked at me and said, ‘I want to do what’s best for the team and I want to win.’ ”

The coach reiterated that Bentley’s experience was a key factor in his decision, specifically that he has played a lot of good football for USC.

Scarnecchia had a strong outing Saturday, completing 20 of 35 passes for 249 yards and three touchdowns. He led USC on a game-winning drive, hitting a pair of big passes in the closing seconds to set up a late field goal.

For the season, Bentley has 928 yards and seven touchdowns, completing 63.6 percent of his passes. He’s also thrown six interceptions, two against Georgia and three against Kentucky.

Scarnecchia had been established as the No. 2 for the past two seasons, a player who the staff felt is could rely on (though he had never threatened Bentley for the top spot).

Coming out of being sent back to the backup role, Scarnecchia could have been sore. But Muschamp said that wouldn’t be like him, despite the call to be a little mad.

“That’s the kind of young man he is,” Muschamp said. “That’s what makes him who he is.”

South Carolina beat Missouri 37-35 at Williams-Brice Stadium Saturday Oct. 6, 2018, in Columbia, SC.