South Carolina is joining the list of teams with a quarterback controversy on their hands. Jake Bentley was not only the Week One starter for the Gamecocks, but was also regarded as a future first-round NFL draft pick. Well, the first couple games of the season did not go as Bentley planned. Granted he went against two very tough defenses in Georgia and Kentucky, but he seemed to have lost that Golden Boy charm that had South Carolina fans falling in love with him before the season. 

In their fourth game of the year against Kentucky, Bentley tweaked his knee and was questionable for their game against Missouri all week. Finally, Coach Muschamp announced Jake would not be ready to go and redshirt senior Michael Scarnecchia would be the starter. It looked like it was going to be temporary until Bentley got healthy, but Scarnecchia put on a show for Gamecocks fans. In his first career start, Scarn threw for 338 yards and 4 TDs and led the Gamecocks to a huge win against Missouri.

This leaves Will Muschamp a tough choice for this Saturday’s game against Texas A&M: ride the hot hand of Scarnecchia or go back to the guy South Carolina worked so hard to make the face of their program. I’m going to outline some pros & cons of both.

Jake Bentley

Pros

  • Bentley still has the biggest upside potential. The talent is there despite what we’ve seen this season.
  • Bentley could still have a year left with the program if his draft stock is too affected by this season. You want your quarterback getting as many game reps as possible.
  • Bentley is still the face of this team. South Carolina has been grooming Jake to be the savior of this team since he was a junior in high school. Abandoning him now could be seen as wasting the last two years of the program

Cons

  • Bentley has performed poorly this season to say the least. This team still has a chance to salvage a good season and this game could define the whole thing.
  • If Bentley does start and perform poorly and then you go to Scarnecchia in the second half it could shatter Bentley’s confidence for good.
  • If he is not 100% healthy it is not worth risking his future at South Carolina or his football future in general.

Michael Scarnecchia

Pros

  • Scarnecchia is the hot hand right now. He played great in tough conditions on Saturday and must be feeling confident.
  • There are so many badass pictures of him in the rain like that. Can’t put a number value on that, but it definitely means something.
  • If he starts and doesn’t play well, you can always put in (a hopefully very determined) Jake Bentley to replace him.
  • He is literally Agent Michael Scarn from The Office:

Cons

  • Scarn is obviously not as talented as Bentley. You know what you’re getting with Scarn.
  • He is currently a living legend on campus. A bad performance and loss to A&M would tarnish his reputation. Retiring 1-0 all time would be legendary.

Based on this presser it appears that Bentley will be the starter if he is healthy. But this could end up being one of those “he isn’t healthy yet” situations for Bentley even though he actually could go just so it looks like Scarn has to start. We will keep up to date with Bentley’s health and the Agent Michael Scarn legend as the week goes on.

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Kurt Krass

Start Bentley. I’d start the freshman. Let Scar be the legend he is.