Bentley hits a pothole
It was a strange, sloppy game for South Carolina, especially for Jake Bentley, the Gamecocks’ usually steady quarterback. A team that had just eight turnovers in its first nine games had four Saturday. Bentley threw three interceptions, the first time he’s had a three-pick day in his career. Florida sacked him three times in the first half, as well, on plays he held the ball too long while waiting for something to develop rather than throw it away. Bentley broke down the picks: “It was total miscommunication on the first one. It was completely my fault. The second one I didn’t see the guy. Hayden (Hurst) was completely open, but just didn’t see the rotation. The third one just can’t happen; I need to just throw it away and take care of the ball.”
The defense stands out
The defense was sharper, limiting Florida to 78 rushing yards. Seventy-two of those came on three carries, with 19 others yielding just 6 yards combined. It was the lowest rushing total allowed thus far by a Gamecocks defense under Muschamp. There was a strange miscue for the defense, though, as two receivers got behind the entire secondary on a third-down play; that led to a 63-yard gain that set up Florida’s only second-half score. South Carolina largely has played clean football this season. It’s a mark of the growth that the Gamecocks were good enough to win on a day loaded with the kind of mental errors that would have destroyed their chances earlier in the year.
Dancing days are here again
In a change from their usual routine, Gamecocks defensive players were dancing during the game, something that seemed to work for them. Defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw said he saw the New York Jets do it during a game and was inspired by that. Defensive back Rashad Fenton said no one had really planned to dance beforehand, but when the stadium DJ played a good song, they just went with it. With temperatures in the low 50s during the game, Kinlaw said staying warm was a motivating factor as well. Early forecasts have next Saturday’s high at 68, so we’ll see whether the new trend carries over to warmer days.
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