South Carolina’s two signal-callers both have a firm grasp of their situation heading into a big home game against Texas A&M Saturday.
Both Jake Bentley and Michael Scarnecchia know the starting quarterback job belongs to the more experienced junior as opposed to the fifth-year senior who won his first collegiate start against Missouri.
Bentley still appreciates Scarnecchia, who stole a bit of the spotlight in a mostly blemish-free afternoon against the Tigers.
One of the last remaining recruits from the Steve Spurrier era completed 20-of-35 passes for 249 yards, three touchdowns and led the drive that culminated with Parker White’s game-winning 33-yard field goal.
Scarnecchia said despite the fact that his life has not changed much, he’s appreciated the increased level of confidence the team has in him after seeing him on the game field for the first time take meaningful snaps:
QB Michael Scarnecchia
Despite Scarnecchia being the “Flavor of the Week” and drawing the urge from the fan base to give him more time, Head Coach Will Muschamp has said this week Bentley will take the field Saturday against the Aggies if he’s healthy enough to do so.
Muschamp reiterated on Wednesday’s SEC Teleconference that Bentley has made progress throughout the week, and won’t be encumbered by a knee brace he’ll have to wear if he plays Saturday.
Bentley said Tuesday he went through practice without limitations:
QB Jake Bentley
One of Scarnecchia’s biggest plays came on a 27-yard completion to Kyle Markway which put South Carolina in field goal range on the final game-winning drive of the game against Missouri.
Markway, the lone Missouri native on the Gamecocks, had a group of family and friends from his home in St. Louis in town to catch his final Williams-Brice Stadium matchup against his home-state school.
He has mostly played for South Carolina on Special Teams, but has been contributing more this year after suffering injuries that cost him the 2016 season and most of 2017.
He talked about the importance of the play, and how far he’s come to earn himself more playing time in a crowded tight end room:
TE Kyle Markway
Muschamp said even though Bentley will be the likely starter against Texas A&M, he’s asked Scarnecchia to prepare as if he’s the starter. The Head Coach also did not rule out the possibility of Scarnecchia replacing Bentley due to poor game performance from the starter.
Wide receiver Shi Smith didn’t need to see Scarnecchia’s play against Missouri to know he could handle the offense in a big moment:
WR Shi Smith
South Carolina (3-2, 2-2 SEC) hosts Texas A&M on Saturday at 3:30 PM on the SEC Network.