USC Gamecocks Football

South Carolina QB Jake Bentley is done for the 2019 football season

Injured USC QB Jake Bentley cheers on his teammates

South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley supports his teammates ahead of the game against Charleston Southern on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, at Williams-Brice Stadium.
Up Next
South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley supports his teammates ahead of the game against Charleston Southern on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, at Williams-Brice Stadium.

South Carolina football opened the 2019 season ready for one final run with quarterback Jake Bentley.

Instead, it will go the rest of this season without him.

Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp announced Bentley’s mid-foot injury will need surgery. That means he’ll be sidelined the rest of the year.

“He and I talked (Sunday) about that” Muschamp said.

Muschamp declined to speak on whatever next step might happen with Bentley’s career. The lost year would result in a redshirt and he is set to graduate this December.

“That’s not even on the table,” Muschamp said of what’s next. “Right now, this is a very difficult time. When I know something more, I’ll let you guys know.”

The team sought a second opinion, which came on Friday. Muschamp said the plan was to talk Sunday to Jake, his father Bobby and the family about next steps.

Presumably, Bentley has at least these three options: return in 2020 and compete for the USC starting job; leave USC as a graduate transfer and play his final season of eligibility elsewhere; or get well and begin training for a possible professional career.

This also means true freshman Ryan Hilinski will have to step in and lead the team for the foreseeable future. Hilinski was a top-70 recruit nationally in the 2019 class.

Hilinski threw for 282 yards and two touchdowns in his debut Saturday in a 72-10 win over Charleston Southern, connecting on his first 12 passes against the FCS opponent.

Muschamp praised Hilinski coming off his first game, but cautioned the freshman had a few issues to clean up (some communication things) and did not have to face much pressure all day.

Bentley came into the season within striking distance of the program records for yards and touchdowns for a career. He’s at 7,527 yards (fourth) and 55 touchdowns (third).

Bentley’s career started when his redshirt was torn off as a true freshman and he led the 2016 Gamecocks from a 2-4 start to a bowl. He helped the team to a 9-4 record the next year, and led a top-30 offense last season with Deebo Samuel.

But this season started inauspiciously with one of the worst performances of his career against double-digit underdog UNC. Muschamp said he hurt the foot after being landed on during the game’s final play, a sack on a Hail Mary attempt.

Other injuries

Muschamp said two running backs are dealing with smaller injuries. Deshaun Fenwick didn’t dress on Saturday, in part because of a family issue and because of a shoulder issue. Tailback/corner A.J. Turner had surgery on his thumb, but he practiced Sunday.

Brad Johnson has been working through a groin injury, one that he had at the start of training camp and has flared back up.

Guard Eric Douglas missed Saturday with an ankle injury, but he is expected back. Wide receiver Randrecous Davis ran with the training staff and might be able to play this week.

Kicker Parker White has been dealing with a hip issue. He will kick only one day this week, same as last week, but it is not expected to limit him in games.

Alabama prep

Muschamp admitted he hasn’t fully gotten through the Alabama film from the first two games this season, but he was highly complimentary of the Crimson Tide passing game and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

He also reminisced about the lessons learned from Nick Saban and his former boss’ ability to run a program with a sense of when issues might arise before they did.

Superlatives from Saturday

Offensive player of the game: OL Donell Stanley

Offensive lineman of the week: Jordan Rhodes

Effort on offense: Dakereon Joyner

Explosive plays: Ryan Hilinski 4, Byan Edwards 3, Kevin Harris 3, Tavien Feaster 3, Rico Dowdle 3, Mon Denson 1, Dakereon Joyner 1

Special teams player of the game: Eldridge Thompson

Defensive player of the game: Ernest Jones, R.J. Roderick

Defensive lineman of the week: Tyreek Johnson

Ballhawks: John Dixon, R.J. Roderick, Israel Mukuamu, Danny Fennell, Zacch Pickens, Jabari Ellis

NEXT

Who: Alabama at South Carolina

When: 3:30 pm Saturday, Sept. 14

Where: Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia

TV: CBS

Line: Alabama by 24

Related stories from The State in Columbia SC

West Coast raised. Midwest educated. Southern football indoctrinated. Covers most everything Gamecocks, primarily football.
Support my work with a digital subscription
SUBSCRIBE TODAY
  Comments