COLUMBIA – Jake Bentley's career at South Carolina is officially over.
The senior announced plans Monday to transfer to play his final year of eligibility.
It ends an up-and-down career for Bentley, who leaves with a few highlights and a few records.
The beginning of his career
Bentley made waves as the first big quarterback to commit to Will Muschamp at South Carolina, coming with his father, Bobby Bentley, after moving up a class to enroll with the 2016 class.
He sat out the first six games of his freshman season when the Gamecocks got off to a 2-4 start before taking the reins against UMass and leading South Carolina to a 4-2 record down the stretch.
The then-freshman picked up wins over a ranked Tennessee team and Missouri by 10 points. He also put on a show in the Gamecocks' bowl game, leading the way to 39 points with 390 yards and three touchdowns against USF.
Rounding out his career
Bentley put up monster yardage and some great stats over his two full seasons starting, completing 62 percent of his passes over two seasons for 5,965 yards, 45 touchdowns to 26 interceptions.
His junior year, statistically, was his best when he completed 240 passes in 388 attempts and became just the fifth quarterback in school history to throw for over 3,000 yards in a single season. He finished with 3,171 yards passing and averaging 8.2 yards per attempt.
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He also threw 27 touchdowns to 14 interceptions.
Consistency was always an issue and interceptions — he averaged 13 over his final two full seasons and threw two in his only game of 2019 — plagued him as he continued throughout his career. He struggled some against really good teams but put up some historically good numbers compared to other South Carolina quarterbacks.
Where he stacks up historically
Bentley finishes his career at South Carolina as statistically one of the best quarterbacks to come through Columbia.
He finishes fourth all time with 1,002 attempts behind Todd Ellis, Steve Taneyhill and Stephen Garcia; third in completions with 626 behind Taneyhill and Ellis; fourth in wins with 19; third behind Taneyhill and Connor Shaw with 55 touchdowns and fourth in career yardage (7,527) behind Ellis, Taney and Garcia.
Bentley finishes completing 62.5 percent of his passes, which is second all time at South Carolina among quarterbacks with at least 150 attempts behind only Connor Shaw (65.5 percent).
His 510 yards against Clemson were the most ever from a Gamecock quarterback in a single game, and he leaves with two of the school's top 10 passing performances in a game with his 390 yards against USF.
He finishes with three of the best 11 years in terms of quarterback efficiency ratings — 146.3 in 2018, 140 in 2016 and 130.7 in 2017 — and finishes one win shy of 20 at South Carolina.
He's one of just five quarterbacks to throw for at least 6,000 yards in a career.
Bentley's best games
- Nov. 24, 2018: Bentley set a school record with 510 yards against Clemson, throwing for five touchdowns as the Gamecocks put up 35 points on the road against the Tigers.
- Dec. 29, 2016: Bentley's first big showing on a bigger stage, throwing for 390 yards and three scores against USF and putting up the second-most points (39) the Gamecocks have scored against an FBS team under Muschamp.
- Nov. 3, 2018: This was the Gamecocks' first win in a shootout under Muschamp, scoring 48 points against Ole Miss in a four-point victory as Bentley threw for 363 yards, averaging 11.3 yards per attempt, and two scores.
- Sept. 2, 2017: Bentley put up 215 yards and three touchdowns, including an insanely accurate back-of-the-end-zone throw to Deebo Samuel, in a 35-28 win over N.C. State. The yardage won't blow anyone away from this game, but he played well and did it against a really good defensive front.
- Oct. 29, 2016: He didn't light the world on fire, throwing for 167 yards in an upset over then-No. 18 Tennessee, averaging almost 8 yards per attempt. He threw for two scores in the game and found K.C. Crosby for a 35-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to effectively seal the game.