Josh Kendall

USC offense had not doubts vs. Clemson: ‘We knew we were going to do that’

Most of the nation was shocked that South Carolina gained 600 yards and scored 35 points against No. 2 Clemson. The Gamecocks were not.

“We knew we were going to do that,” South Carolina senior tight end Jacob August said.

August pointed out that the Gamecocks were “4 yards from 49 points.” South Carolina failed twice on fourth-and-goal from the 2-yard line and still managed five touchdowns on 11 possessions (not counting end of half situations).

“If we can dial up two plays to get into the end zone, that’s a completely different ball game,” August said.

South Carolina (6-5) lost the game 56-35 but came away with its offensive confidence at a season-high after gaining 600 or more yards in back-to-back games including against the nation’s second-ranked defense.

“We had all the confidence in the world (against the Tigers),” senior backup quarterback Michael Scarnecchia said. “We know right now that our offense is rolling. You can just tell, we know right now we are one of the best offenses in the nation.”

The Gamecocks are sixth in the SEC in total offense, averaging 445.3 yards per game under first-year offensive coordinator Bryan McClendon.

“There’s a lot of stuff we could have cleaned up and been even better at (against Clemson),” starting quarterback Jake Bentley said. “Definitely, some positives from the game and definitely some things we left out there.”

Bentley has keyed the offense’s hot streak. He has thrown 13 touchdown passes versus two interceptions in the last four games.

“We are all just making plays,” Bentley said. “That’s one thing that you see is guys making plays, making throws that maybe we didn’t make earlier in the season. Each and every game it’s about our execution. I just think we have done that better the last few weeks. I don’t think anybody has made any drastic change. Guys were just tired of not executing the way we could.”

The Gamecocks are on pace to have their second-highest average yardage total since at least 2008. The 2013 team averaged 452.3 yards per game, one of only two times in the last 10 years South Carolina has averaged more than 400 yards per game in a season.

“When we don’t hurt ourselves, no one can stop us. That’s our mentality,” Scarnecchia said. “We are executing at a high level right now and it’s hard for teams to stop us, but we need to keep going as a team.”