Clemson was the best team in college football last season. Clemson embarrassed South Carolina in a 56-7 blowout last November. Neither of these statements deter South Carolina QB Jake Bentley, and Gamecocks fans have to love their quarterback for that.
The sophomore says the team has a completely different look on their hated rival than the perception many have following last year’s game. And it’s one that has some Clemson fans riled up.
On Wednesday, Bentley shed some light on what the Gamecocks think about that Clemson game and closing any sort of perceived gap between the two programs:
“We just didn’t play well that week,” Bentley said via a video interview with FOX Carolina sports director Aaron Cheslock. “That’s our big quote going into this year. We felt we got outworked. So our big thing is never again we will be outworked. Never again will be out-competed in a game like that. It all stems from that game. Because at the end of the game, everyone knew that they weren’t that much better than us or better than us at all. It really just lit a fire in everybody. Since that week, everyone has worked harder and wanted it more.”
Bentley’s stats were, ahem, not the best in this matchup. He completed just 7 of 17 passes for 41 yards and an interception. The lone touchdown pass of the game for the Gamecocks was thrown by WR Deebo Samuel.
Bentley’s father, Bobby, coaches running backs for the Gamecocks. And he didn’t see it quite the same as his son regarding the gap between Clemson and South Carolina.
“Anybody that was at the game can see there’s a gap,” Coach Bentley said. “There’s a big gap in talent and a big gap with facilities. We’ve got to close the gap, and we’re doing it. We’ve got the new facility going on, we’ve got recruiting improvements, we’ve got guys like Jake who are picking South Carolina over Alabama, picking South Carolina over LSU, picking South Carolina over Georgia. That’s what we’ve gotta do. The more and more players we get that are on that level, we’ll close the gap.”
You can watch the video of these comments below, courtesy of FOX Carolina sports director Aaron Cheslock’s Twitter account:
— Aaron Cheslock (@AaronCheslock) May 24, 2017
Predictably, the younger Bentley’s comment about Clemson not being much better, if at all, than South Carolina drew some harsh criticism from the Tigers faithful.
Here’s a sampling of their responses on social media: