Moving forward, South Carolina’s offense is officially in the hands of Ryan Hilinski.
Reports surfaced early last week that starting quarterback Jake Bentley suffered some type of foot injury in South Carolina’s season-opening loss to North Carolina that could sideline him for upwards of six weeks. Last Tuesday, head coach Will Muschamp confirmed that Bentley has been diagnosed with a Lisfranc injury in his mid-foot and would be out for 4-8 weeks if surgery weren’t required — and for the remainder of the season if it was.
Sunday, Muschamp revealed that, after receiving a second opinion, Bentley will undergo surgery this coming week and, as a result, will miss the remainder of the 2019 season.
Bentley will have another year of eligibility at his disposal after using his redshirt this season. Whether he will use that fifth season at USC — or elsewhere — has not yet been determined.
Muschamp added that nothing has been determined about Bentley’s future beyond this season.
“That’s not even on the table,” Muschamp said. “Right now, it’s a very difficult time. When I know something, I’ll let you guys know. How about that?
Including this season’s opener, Bentley had started 33 of the last 34 games under center for the Gamecocks.
With Bentley officially out, Hilinski, a four-star 2019 signee whose brother, Tyler Hilinski, was Washington State’s starting quarterback before taking his own life in January of 2017, is the Gamecocks’ unquestioned starter. In the true freshman’s first career start against FCS Charleston Southern in Week 2, Hilinski completed 24-of-30 passes for 282 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in USC’s 72-10 win.
Hilinski’s second career start will come this Saturday against No. 2 Alabama in Columbia.