Jake Bentley digs ‘Back in Black’
Two and a half years of college football yields a lot of plays, and that data, especially the past year, contributes to Pro Football Focus’ ranking all 130 starting quarterbacks heading into the 2019 season.
The Gamecocks passer was ranked 33rd in the country, behind Hawaii’s Cole McDonald and Penn State’s Sean Clifford, who has all of seven career passing attempts. The ranking comes in part form play-by-play data and takes into accout the situation behind each starter to a degree.
“Speaking of veteran signal-callers, Bentley has manned the ship at South Carolina for the past three seasons, averaging a career 7.5 yards per attempt,” PFFs’ Cam Mellor wrote. “Gone are some of his playmakers from year’s past but Bentley is every bit as good a quarterback no matter who he’s throwing to. When targeting wide receivers, he’s seen a 100.9 and when targeting running backs, he’s seen a passer rating of 103.0.”
Bentley is coming off a season in which he threw for 3,171 yards, 27 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. That’s the third-most yards and second-most TDs in program history.
With one season left, he’s 2,568 yards and seven touchdowns from the program’s overall records.
Bentley was thrown into the fire as a true freshman and had held the job ever since. He led the team to nine wins in 2017 and seven last season.
That ranking of 33rd puts him seventh in the SEC behind the likes of Kelly Bryant (Missouri), Kellen Mond (Texas A&M) and Jarrett Guarantano (Tennessee).
The explanation of the rankings is here: “Combing through our play-by-play data ad nauseam, these rankings take into account a quarterback’s PFF grade both from last season, and all other subsequent sets of data that we have on their time in college. The list projects these players as the starter but is also influenced by the situation behind the projected starting quarterback if he were to miss any amount of time going forward.”