The SEC named two offensive players of the week this week and neither one was South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley. That was perplexing to Gamecocks head coach Will Muschamp.
“I do think it’s important when a young man does some special things to get recognized for it,” Muschamp said Tuesday. “He’s the first quarterback in Southeastern Conference history to have that many yards against a top five team, and he had five touchdowns. In the history of the league. Never been done before. That’s pretty impressive, in my opinion.”
Bentley had a career-high 510 yards and five touchdowns Saturday in a 56-35 loss to No. 2 Clemson. The Tigers have the second-ranked defense in the nation, and Bentley’s total was the second-highest in history against Clemson.
“We have a saying (in the SEC), ‘It just means more.’ It just means more sometimes depending on what your logo is,” Muschamp said. “Call it like it is. Next question. I am going to defend our kids. Make sure we all understand that. I work for South Carolina.”
Bentley has completed 64.9 percent of his passes this year for 2,754 yards, 24 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. In the last five games, he has 15 touchdowns and three interceptions.
Vanderbilt quarterback Kyle Shurmur (31-of-35 for 367 yards, three TDs in 38-13 win over Tennessee) and Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (25-of-32 for 324 yards and six total touchdowns in win over Auburn) shared SEC player of the week honors for Week 13.
“I am going to try and be politically correct,” Muschamp said. “I am not very good at that. We are not big on individual awards here. That’s not who we are. It’s about the team. Jake would be the first one to tell you that. Jake played well because of how he prepares, how he watches film, how he practices. Jake played well because our offensive line played well.”