Jake Bentley believes South Carolina's offense will hit a new gear this season: 'I think it's going to be so much faster'
This time last year, there was a ton of offseason hype surrounding South Carolina’s offense under new offensive coordinator Bryan McClendon. The spring game only added fuel to the fire as Jake Bentley connected on several deep shots in the spring game that had many envisioning SEC scoreboards lighting up in the fall whenever the Gamecocks hit the field.
Unfortunately, more often than not, South Carolina’s offense was stuck in neutral when coming up against quality defenses. Things appeared to have finally turned a corner when the Gamecocks put up 35 points on Clemson, and were two unsuccessful red zone trips away from scoring another 14 points in the game, but then turned around and were shut out in the bowl game against an average Virginia team.
Now heading into Year 2 in the system, what are the expectations for the offense? According to Bentley, the Gamecocks will be hitting a new gear when they decide to go tempo.
“I think guys will know where to line up and everything based on the calls. I think it’s going to be so much faster,” Bentley said during his Monday media availability. “I think the linemen have a good idea of understanding that it starts with them and they got to get set on the ball before we can do anything. They’ve done a great job with that so far.”
McClendon has publicly commented this spring that he didn’t get the opportunity to fully install his offense in his first season. South Carolina’s starting quarterback was asked what he’s seen this spring that’s new to the team’s offense.
“You can definitely see his own spin on everything and his own take,” Bentley said. “He definitely likes to push the ball down the field, he likes to be aggressive. He has an aggressive mindset, that’s what I love about him. He puts a lot of confidence in us as quarterbacks to make the right decisions and you can definitely tell he feels more comfortable with calling plays that really attack the defense.”
One other interesting note Bentley shared during his interview was the fact that the seniors on the team have taken steps to ensure they take advantage of their final season in Columbia.
“TJ Brunson called a senior meeting the other day and just kind of laid out the idea that guys this is our last chance to do it and we can’t let little things fall through the cracks and we really got to be particular in what we want and what our goals are and don’t let anything stand in the way,” Bentley shared. “If someone’s not doing his best to achieve the team goals, we are going to talk to them and get them in line. Everyone is responding well and really working hard.”