Will Muschamp answered a question about Jake Bentley on Sunday, and I fear it’s going to set off another round of, “Is Jake Bentley going to play this year?” questions.
Not that the first round of those questions ever really ended. Here’s what Muschamp said when asked about his true freshman quarterback who has not played yet this season: “I would say everything is open as far as that discussion is concerned.”
Muschamp later clarified that true freshman Brandon McIlwain remains the team’s starting quarterback, but nothing short of saying, “Jake Bentley is not going to play this year,” is going to stop some people from wondering if the son of South Carolina’s running backs coach might be the missing link for the Gamecocks offense.
So I’ll say it: “Jake Bentley is not going to play this year.” Of course, that’s not my call, so let’s go with this: “Jake Bentley shouldn’t play this year.”
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It just makes no sense barring an injury to both McIlwain and senior Perry Orth, who has started 10 games in his career and is more than capable of taking over in the event of a McIlwain injury. The problems with the Gamecocks offense are not exclusive to the quarterback position and certainly aren’t going to be solved by replacing one true freshman quarterback with another, not to mention one who didn’t have the benefit of a spring practice.
On top of that, playing Bentley this year would eliminate any sort of class separation between he and McIlwain moving forward and likely lead to one of them transferring in the future. Why would you mortgage your future for a present when it won’t make the present any better anyway?
The answer is you wouldn’t.