South Carolina football saw its offense come to life more in the second half of last season as quarterback Jake Bentley took over as starter and running back Rico Dowdle returned to health.
Now, the Gamecocks have a young, potent set of offensive skill players and it ranks among the nation’s best, according to 247Sports.
Barton Simmons of 247Sports ranked Bentley, Dowdle and wide receiver Deebo Samuel at No. 9 in the best “offensive trifectas” in the country.
“There are trifectas with a lot more gaudy statistics to their credit but if you’ve been paying attention to these three, you’ve got high expectations for their future,” Simmons wrote. “Bentley and Dowdle both stole starting jobs midseason to become foundational pieces to South Carolina as true freshmen last fall. They have the look of guys that can really surge as sophomores. Deebo Samuel caught 59 passes for 783 yards last fall but now that Bentley is the permanent starter, those numbers should continue to swell.”
Bentley started 7 games for South Carolina last season, throwing for 1,420 yards and 9 touchdowns, while completing 65.8 percent of his passes.
Dowdle emerged as the starting running back after returning from a preseason injury. He had 6 rushing touchdowns and ran for 5.74 yards per attempt. He finished the year with 764 rushing yards on 133 attempts.
Two other SEC schools made Simmons’ list, with Missouri’s trio of quarterback Drew Lock, running back Damarea Crockett and wide receiver J’Mon Moore ranking fourth and Alabama’s group of quarterback Jalen Hurts, running back Bo Scarbrough and wide receiver Calvin Ridley ranking sixth.