CLEMSON - Jake Bentley had the game South Carolina football fans - and probably he himself - had been longing for on Saturday against Clemson. Yet Bentley wasn't reveling in his outstanding performance.
"It's great knowing maybe 30 years from now …
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"It's great knowing maybe 30 years from now I'll look back and appreciate it more, but right now all I can think about is we lost," Bentley said of the Gamecocks' 56-35 loss to the second-ranked Tigers. "That's what it boils down to is we didn't score as many points as they did, no matter how well anyone did on offense."
The Carolina offense played far better than anyone anticipated though against a Clemson defense that entered the game ranked second in the country.
Bentley had a career-high 510 passing yards, which was also the most yards any South Carolina quarterback has thrown for against Clemson. He completed 32 of 50 passes and threw five touchdown passes against one interception.
"Thought he played extremely well," USC head coach Will Muschamp said of Bentley. "Gutsy, tough, that's who he is and glad he's our quarterback. I think he's playing at a high level and we gotta continue playing well around him, and that's part of why he's playing well.
"Offensively, we played extremely well."
Bentley took full advantage of his talented receiving corps. He made the passes and they made the plays, which hasn't always been the case this season for the Gamecocks, who are 6-5 on the year.
"I know my receivers and offensive line and tight ends, running backs believe in me just like I believe in them, and that's all we need," Bentley said.
Senior wide receiver Deebo Samuel caught 10 passes for 210 yards and three scores.
"The guy's a competitor," Muschamp said. "He's a really good football player. He goes and competes at practice every day. He competes every single day."
Sophomore wide receiver Shi Smith caught nine passes for 109 yards and a score.
"Shi's done well versus everybody we've played," Muschamp said. "We've been able to get matchups and get him in space. he's a very effective player."
Junior tight end Kiel Pollard caught two passes for 94 yards and a touchdown, and junior running back Mon Denson ran the ball 17 times for 62 yards.
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