COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina’s two true freshman quarterbacks now are the two quarterbacks for the Gamecocks.
Jake Bentley and Brandon McIlwain will be the two moving forward, coach Will Muschamp said on his Sunday night teleconference.
“I just feel like right now from an ability standpoint, those two guys give us the best opportunity,” Muschamp said. “They are just going to keep getting better. Both of them do things equally well. We will continue to rep that way.”
Senior Perry Orth, who started against Georgia two weeks ago, now is on the outside looking in as the freshmen have taken control of the position. Orth opened the season as the starter, a role he held for the first two games. He did not play during the next two weeks. He came in for the fourth quarter against Texas A&M to throw for 138 yards. He held the starting role against Georgia, recording 238 yards passing.
Bentley took the starting spot for the first time Saturday against Massachusetts, and all signs are he will continue to hold it. McIlwain received playing time against UMass in short-yardage situations. He ran 5 times for 17 yards and did not throw a pass.
Muschamp praised Orth for the way he has handled himself this season when asked about the senior’s role.
“Perry has been great as far as supporting our guys and talking to them on the sideline,” Muschamp said. “He has been a great teammate, and he’s a great young man. He is a guy that certainly is a very valuable member of our organization and a guy that I’ve got the utmost respect for.”
Bentley threw for 201 yards on 17-of-26 passing with 2 touchdowns against UMass. Afterward, Muschamp said McIlwain will continue to push Bentley.
“Competition is my best friend,” Muschamp said. “Those guys are two competitive guys. They are going to go out every single day and battle and support each other. It’s going to be good for the Gamecocks. That’s what I’m looking forward to. We’ve got two good players who can do really good things. All they are going to do is continue to get better. That’s the thing. They just need time.”