Jake Bentley ready to go, proud of friend Michael Scarnecchia
Coming out of South Carolina’s bye week, Will Muschamp was faced with the question.
His starting quarterback Jake Bentley, has struggled at points this season. His backup, Michael Scarnecchia played well enough in a comeback win against Missouri.
Fans, as they often do, had been clamoring for the backup. How is Muschamp coming out of the off week feeling about it?
“No different than (when) we’ve talked to Jake before,” Muschamp said. “Got to play well. Got to take care of the football.”
But there was a warning in there.
“If we feel like we can make a change in a positive direction we will,” Muschamp said. “That’s no different than any other position.”
Bentley had his share of struggles early in the schedule, culminating with three interceptions and an knee injury against Kentucky. Scarnecchia came in, threw for 249 yards and three scores and led USC on a game-winning drive against Missouri.
But Bentley was healthy again against Texas A&M. A bad interception and big drops helped put USC in a 16-0 hole, but Bentley played well enough to rally but not quite get USC over the hump.
The third-year starter currently has 1,151 yards, 10 touchdowns and an SEC-high seven interceptions.
“Obviously Mike is a guy that we’ve got a lot of confidence in, no different than any other position on the field,” Muschamp said. “You talk about defensive end, you talk about receiver, you talk about tight end. Whatever position you want to talk about, you’ve got to go play well, perform well for our football team.”
On the other side, the Volunteers have quarterback questions of their own. Starter Jarrett Guarantano got hurt against Alabama, and backup Keller Chryst looked good in relief. UT coach Jeremy Pruitt said Guarantano should be good to go against USC though.
For South Carolina, the prep doesn’t change much.
“I think they’re both very similar,” Muschamp said. “As far as Keller is and Guarantano. They run their system. They are who they are. And I think they’re very similar skillset guys.”