‘Jake is probably going to be the guy now’: Why Bentley may be Utah’s starting QB moving forward

Utah Utes quarterback Jake Bentley (8) passes under pressure from USC Trojans safety Talanoa Hufanga (15) at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020.

Utah Utes quarterback Jake Bentley (8) passes under pressure from USC Trojans safety Talanoa Hufanga (15) at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. | Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

Coach Kyle Whittingham said after the game he didn’t know about Rising’s status and more would be learned Sunday. 

After months of speculation about which quarterback would be Utah’s starter this season, last Saturday’s season-opening 33-17 loss to USC opened up even more questions about that position.

Sophomore Cam Rising started the game but played only a little more than three series before suffering a shoulder injury and being replaced by senior Jake Bentley.

Rising had back-to-back turnovers — an interception and a fumble after being sacked — before his departure. He completed 3 of 6 passes for 45 yards and led a first-quarter drive that resulted in a 36-yard field goal by Jadon Redding, lifting the Utes to an early 3-0 advantage.

Coach Kyle Whittingham said after the game he didn’t know about Rising’s status and more would be learned Sunday.

“Cam’s shoulder took a pretty good shot,” the coach said.

What does that mean moving forward?

“Jake is probably going to be the guy now,” Whittingham said. “If Jake’s the guy, then we’ll rally behind him.”

“It’s not an excuse at all. I was fully prepared before the game to go out there and execute,” he said. “It took a little while to get going there as an offense. It’s something we’ll definitely look at and get better at.” — Utah quarterback Jake Bentley

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Bentley, who started 33 games at South Carolina before enrolling at Utah as a grad transfer, completed 16 of 28 passes for 171 yards and one touchdown and two interceptions against USC.

Overall, the Ute offense had five turnovers and scored only 10 points on the night.

Bentley acknowledged that it’s difficult being thrown into competition in the middle of a game after starting on the sidelines, but he didn’t use that as a reason for his struggles.

“It’s not an excuse at all. I was fully prepared before the game to go out there and execute,” he said. “It took a little while to get going there as an offense. It’s something we’ll definitely look at and get better at.”

Certainly, Bentley was disappointed in the offensive performance and as a team leader, he took responsibility.

“This was our first game, our first opportunity to show what we’re all about. And unfortunately, we didn’t do that,” he said. “Offensively, we have to play better and that starts with me.”

“Jake came in and did some good things,” Whittingham said. “He had a couple of throws I know he wishes he had back.”

Utah’s best drive of the night came at the end of the first half that covered 75 yards and took nine plays and chewed nearly five minutes off the clock.

On third-and-13 from the Ute 22-yard line, Bentley scrambled for 33 yards to give the offense new life, though a personal foul penalty on Utah …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News

      

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