Update: Tuesday, Sept. 3 - 12:45 p.m. ET
South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp told reporters Tuesday that quarterback Jake Bentley suffered a mid-foot sprain on the final play of Saturday’s loss to North Carolina.
Bentley will be out “for an extended period of time” and may need surgery, Muschamp said. If Bentley needs surgery, the injury will end his season. If it is determined that surgery is not required, he will be out 6-8 weeks. Bentley will be evaluated again later in the week.
As previously reported, true freshman Ryan Hilinski will be the starting quarterback while Bentley is sidelined. The Gamecocks play Charleston Southern at home on Saturday.
Original story: Monday, Sept. 2, 2019 - 5:50 p.m. ET
South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley reportedly suffered a foot injury in the team’s loss to North Carolina on Saturday and will miss some time.
True freshman quarterback Ryan Hilinski is expected to start in his place. Hilinski, a four-star recruit in the class of 2019, is the younger brother of former Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski.
Tyler Hilinski was found dead via suicide in January of 2018 after he was discovered with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound after he didn’t show up for practice. Hilinski opened the 2017 season as the backup at Washington State and ended up playing in eight games and started the team’s bowl game loss against Michigan State.
Since his death, the Hilinski family has made it their mission to talk about mental health, especially when it comes to the stigma of mental health in college athletics. Mark and Kym, Tyler and Ryan’s parents, recently spoke to the University of Hawaii football team about the topic. They also started a nonprofit called “Hilinski’s Hope” to help spread awareness about mental health issues.
Jake Bentley has been a four-year starter
Bentley, a senior, took over as South Carolina’s starting quarterback as a freshman in 2016 and has been the team’s full-time No. 1 over the past two seasons. He had a rough day on Saturday in USC’s loss to the Tar Heels, and that was a true sentence even before it was known that Bentley suffered an injury.
Bentley was 16-of-30 passing for 142 yards and a touchdown and two interceptions. Both of those interceptions came on consecutive drives late in the fourth quarter and appeared to seal North Carolina’s win. While the Tar Heels inexplicably gave South Carolina a final chance at midfield at the end of the game, that chance went nowhere. Bentley took a sack during the game’s final play.
If Bentley ends up missing more than the Charleston Southern game, Hilinski will be starting some SEC games. The Gamecocks have games against Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky and Georgia in the four weeks that follow.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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