Jake Bentley Named Starting QB at South Alabama
By: Tony Thomas Jake Bentley, the well-traveled and former SEC quarterback, will be under center (or in the shotgun formation) in the season opener for South Alabama vs Southern Mississippi on September 4th. New head coach Kane Wommack has anointed Bentley, a graduate transfer, the starter for the Jags.
Bentley, 6-3,220 comes home to the state where he graduated high school after stints with South Carolina and Utah.
Jake Bentley at South Carolina
His best year with the Gamecocks came in 2018 when he threw for 3,171 yards, 27 TDs, and 14 INTs. Bentley threw for 510 yards and 5 TDs in a 56-35 loss to Clemson. His stats that season:
- 2- 300-yard passing games.
- Threw 4 TD passes in a game twice.
- 2 games with 3 passing TDs.
- Completed 75% of his passes in one game, and 86% in another.
Bentley was attracted to South Alabama by the hiring of Major Applewhite as Offensive Coordinator. Applewhite is a former Texas Longhorns quarterback under Mack Brown and later was the OC under Brown. He was also the OC at Houston under Tom Herman. He is also a former head coach at Houston.
As the OC with the Cougars in 2015, Applewhite led an offense that averaged 40 points per game and 484 yards per game. They gained a total of 6778 yards of total offense and ran over 1,000 offensive plays. They went 13-1 that season, beat # 9 Florida State in the Peach Bowl, and finished ranked #8 in the final AP Poll.
Last season, South Alabama was 3rd in the Sunbelt Conference in passing offense at 247 yards per game. But they only scored 19 points per game, bad enough for 112th in the FBS.
For his college career to date, Bentley has passed for 8,309 yards, 61 TDs, and 38 INTs.
He could be the most accomplished quarterback ever to start for South Alabama. And with Applewhite calling the plays, the Jags have the potential to be more competitive and improve on those dismal offensive numbers of last season.
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