Josh Kendall

Gamecocks quarterback battle ongoing after scrimmage

A weekend scrimmage didn’t do much to add clarity to South Carolina’s three-man quarterback competition.

“I thought all three guys did some really good things, extended drives, made some plays on third down, for the most part took good care of the ball, but no one is head and shoulders above anybody right now so we are going to continue to rep the way we have been repping,” head coach Will Muschamp said Sunday during a teleconference. “Hopefully, we will have this thing resolved before we kick off Sept. 1.”

The Gamecocks will continue to rotate senior Perry Orth and freshman Brandon McIlwain on a daily basis with the first-team offense with freshman Jake Bentley getting the third-team practice snaps. Saturday’s scrimmage, which included 120 situational snaps, was closed to the media and public. No statistics were released.

“It’s a very closely well-contested battle,” Muschamp said. “We were not as error-free as I would like to be at the position, but this is really the first time with the coaches being off the field for an extended time and having the guys play and make decisions. I am pleased with where we are. There is nothing that they did that was unexpected.”

Orth and McIlwain each led field goal drives from their own 2-yard line, and Bentley led an extended touchdown drive, Muschamp said.

“There were far more positives than there were negatives at that position,” Muschamp said. “As I have said before, the future of that position is outstanding.”

The Gamecocks, who will open their Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evening practices to the public this week, have almost three more weeks of practice before their first game – Sept. 1 at 8 p.m. against Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn. South Carolina, which is in its first season under Muschamp, is trying to rebound from last year’s 3-9 season.

“We had some positives on both sides of the ball (during the scrimmage),” Muschamp said, “but we still have a long way to go, we really do.”

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