Everybody in the South Carolina media circle seems to have an idea of what the immediate future holds for Gamecocks quarterback Jake Bentley. After getting roughed up a bit by UNC in Saturday’s season-opening loss to the Tar Heels in Charlotte, Bentley will reportedly be set to miss some playing time in the coming weeks. The length of the possible missed time is unconfirmed at this time, although one report notes Bentley will be out for the next six weeks.
According to Mike Uva of WACH, Bentley will be out for the next six weeks with a broken foot. Backup quarterback Ryan Hilinski would then be elevated to the starting job in Bentley’s absence if that is indeed the situation in Columbia.
It should be noted that South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp will address the media on Tuesday, as per the regular season media availability schedule. It should be expected Bentley’s status will be addressed formally at that time.
If Bentley needs time off, this week is a good week to give the starter a rest regardless of the situation. South Carolina hosts Charleston Southern, an FCS program, in their home opener this weekend. That should be a game that South Carolina can win with a third or fourth-string walk-on quarterback, so resting Bentley is not a bad idea. But if he does need to miss extended playing time, freshman Hilinski could be stepping into a golden opportunity to create a bit of quarterback controversy. If Bentley is out for a max of six weeks, Hilinski would be slotted as the starter for games against Charleston Southern, Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky, and Georgia. Bentley could then return for a home game against Florida if he is deemed ready after six weeks off.
We’ll see what Muschamp has to say tomorrow, if not before.