Hale McGranahan/SEC Country
Jake Bentley is 10-6 as South Carolina's starting quarterback.

South Carolina’s MVP this season; plus, Gamecocks can’t sleep on struggling Gators

Welcome to SEC Country’s Chicken & Waffles, your daily dish for all things South Carolina Gamecocks football, basketball and more. Miss a previous edition? Find every edition of SEC Country’s South Carolina Gamecocks Chicken & Waffles right here.

Making a case

With wide receiver Deebo Samuel out for the rest of the season, who has the strongest case for the South Carolina Gamecocks’ MVP this season? Hale McGranahan of SEC Country lists quarterback Jake Bentley among his top candidates.

“The sophomore quarterback has thrown for 1,986 yards, with 14 touchdowns and 6 interceptions,” McGranahan wrote. “He’s also tied for the team lead with a pair of rushing touchdowns. Though Bentley has struggled at times this season, it’s clear that he’s got the goods to win in the SEC. The future of South Carolina football is bright — and Bentley has a lot to do with that.”

Bentley owns a 10-6 record as the Gamecocks’ starting quarterback, with an impressive 23-to-10 career touchdown-to-interception ratio.

On your toes

South Carolina can’t afford to look past the struggling Florida Gators on Saturday, according to McGranahan.

In the latest edition of Zaxby’s Sound Off, McGranahan joins Mike Chapman to preview the Gamecocks’ upcoming showdown with the Gators.

The momentum from the South Carolina’s 6-3 record could quickly turn should Florida come to town and upset former Gators coach Will Muschamp’s current team.

Weekly honors

South Carolina tight end Hayden Hurst was named the John Mackey Tight End of the Week on Wednesday. The redshirt junior had 7 catches for 93 yards against Georgia last Saturday.

Hurst has 30 catches for 421 yards and 2 touchdowns, with another rushing score, in nine games this season.

And the nominees are …

The 56 nominees for the Broyles Award for college football’s top assistant coach were announced on Wednesday — with a Gamecocks coach making the cut: inside linebacker coach and special teams coordinator Coleman Hutzler, via Ben Breiner of The State.

The winner will be announced on Dec. 5. Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables won the award in 2016.

Bowl predictions

With a 6-3 record, South Carolina will most likely be bowling in December — but where will the Gamecocks end up? Collyn Taylor of Gamecock Central breaks down most of the national media’s picks.

“South Carolina is not eligible for the Birmingham Bowl since the Gamecocks were there last year and are one win away from being considered for the Belk and Music City bowls tier,” Taylor wrote.

“Two more wins against teams such as Florida and Wofford, which come in back-to-back weeks, then the Gamecocks [6-3 overall, 4-3 SEC] would jump to potentially the TaxSlayer and Citrus Bowl level.”

New offer

The Gamecocks offered Class of 2020 running back Zachary Evans last week.

“I’m still researching,” Evans said of the Gamecocks. “I just know I’m thinking of Jadeveon Clowney.”

The Houston native already boasts offers from Alabama, Ole Miss and Texas A&M.

Rock the vote

Help 4-star quarterback and South Carolina commit Dakereon Joyner get to the Under Armour All-America Game!

Joyner has been committed to the Gamecocks since June. The North Charleston, S.C., native is rated as the No. 222 overall prospect for 2018, according to the 247Sports composite.

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