Jake Bentley expresses his thoughts on being booed by South Carolina fans in Williams-Brice
You knew this was coming once Will Muschamp immediately anointed Jake Bentley back into his starting position after Michael Scarneccia led the Gamecocks to an improbable win over Missouri last weekend. If Bentley struggled, some fans were going to take issue with the decision they didn’t agree with in the first place.
Following a slow start which featured South Carolina being shutout during the first half at home against Texas A&M, the boo birds were out from the home crowd with Bentley being their direct target. A costly red zone interception during the first half didn’t help matters.
Bentley rebounded to throw for 223 yards and three scores in the game but faced some tough questions after South Carolina lost to Texas A&M 26-23 at home. The first question asked of the Gamecock quarterback during the post-game was his thoughts on his own fans booing him.
“That’s life. That’s really the way I’ve always been brought up is you can’t worry about outside influences. Other people are going to try and come at you each and every way and you just have to focus on what you believe in and surround yourself with great people,” Bentley answered. “My teammates, every one of them came up to me saying they have my back and to keep my head up and get through it. I would say the support from my teammates had the biggest impact.
“Obviously, it’s disappointing to hear that from the fans, but I mean, they just want to win too and so do I. But to see the support from my teammates and have them rally for me was great for me to see.”
Following the game, his head coach echoed similar comments, noting that it comes with the territory when the program is struggling on the field. Here’s what Will Muschamp had to say in defense of his signal caller after they dropped the game to the Aggies.
“He’s a battler. He’s a competitor. He competes in front of 80,000 people,” Muschamp said. “That position is going to get criticized, just like mine, that’s part of it. He battled his ass off and put us in a situation to win the football game. It’s his mental makeup. That’s why he has a lot of respect from his teammates and the respect of this coaching staff. He put us in a situation to win the game. We need to play better around him.”
It should be noted that Bentley wasn’t the only one that had a bad performance on Saturday, as several Gamecock receivers dropped passes they should have caught. That’s becoming an all-too-familiar scene for South Carolina fans this season after the unit was praised as one of the team’s strengths heading into the season. Regardless of that fact, if South Carolina can’t win at home down the stretch, the boo birds are only going to get louder in Williams-Brice Stadium.