USC Gamecocks Football

What Jake Bentley focused on during South Carolina’s off week

Jake Bentley talks confidence after tough start to season

Jake Bentley speaks to the media during a press conference Tuesday Oct. 23, 2018, in Columbia, SC.
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Jake Bentley speaks to the media during a press conference Tuesday Oct. 23, 2018, in Columbia, SC.

South Carolina and quarterback Jake Bentley came into the off week with an offense somewhat out of sync.

A slow start, in part on him, put the Gamecocks in a hole they couldn’t recover from against Texas A&M. Two weeks prior, he tossed a trio of interceptions and was injured against Kentucky.

So he and his offensive teammates had a few specific points of emphasis with a week to turn attention toward themselves.

“Really focused on taking care of the ball,” Bentley said. “And then just doing whatever we can to make a play. Whether a throw needs to be better or getting some extra reps with receivers on deeper balls. Just working on a lot of stuff to get more productive offensively.”

The Gamecocks have turned the ball over 12 times in six games, an increase of 0.7 turnovers a game (from 1.3 to 2). Included in that are seven interceptions from Bentley, six coming in USC’s three losses.

Those deep balls have also been an issue, as the Gamecocks were plagued by deeper drops against Texas A&M in a tight loss. For the season, USC has only eight passes of 30 yards or more, a number that ranks 84th nationally.

Bentley, who has 1,151 yards and seven touchdowns in 2018, said he feels the offense is close to being explosive and dynamic, assuming it cleans up a few things, but that’s been a theme for much of the season.

And in pursuit of getting things in sync, Bentley said another part of USC’s off week was decidedly less football-centric.

“Last weekend, kind of just took a break from it,” Bentley said. “Really didn’t even watch much football on Saturday just to kind of get away from it and just reset and get ready to go for this week.”

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