South Carolina coach Will Muschamp is seeing a different Jake Bentley lead the Gamecocks offense. The second-year coach noted the sophomore quarterback in a number of key areas after Saturday’s scrimmage.

Everyone knows the physical skills are there, but it’s the maturation that Muschamp and the staff needed to see. It appears that’s happening this fall.

“There’s more command and overall knowledge,” Muschamp said, per The Big Spur. “Getting people lined up, redirecting the protection – he’s a different player at quarterback right now as far as his knowledge of what we do and what we need to be successful.”

Bentley started USC’s final seven games last season and the starting job has been his ever since an impressive debut against UMass last season in Week 8. As the starting signal-caller, Muschamp has seen Bentley become a leader.

“I think he’s a calming influence on our offense as far as getting a receiver on or off the ball, getting the tight end in the right spot, redirecting the protection, changing the run,” Muschamp said. “We’re putting a lot on his plate, and deservedly so.”

An improved and mature Bentley could help South Carolina become a dark-horse contender in the SEC East this season.