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Why Michael Scarnecchia didn't play Saturday

SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS FOOTBALL

The rain continued to fall as South Carolina’s offense struggled to move the ball in the second half.

As the game progressed and the Gamecocks’ four-score lead held steady throughout the half, Jake Bentley kept trotting out as Will Muschamp didn’t pull the offensive starting quarterback or offensive line the entirety of the second half.

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Michael Scarnecchia || Photo by Katie Dugan

“The ball handling was awful. They were loading the box in the run game and forcing us to throw the football. We felt like in that situation, we could have given some other guys some snaps but at the end of the day we weren’t taking care of the ball. That concerned me.”

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The Gamecocks had a 25-point lead the majority of the game after scoring with about 90 seconds left in the first half to go up 28-3.

They didn’t put up any points in the second half but had their fair share of chances throughout the game to put the score out of reach and get some of those younger players or senior quarterback Michael Scarnecchia playing time in his final home game.

Jake Bentley threw two red zone interceptions and the Gamecocks lost two fumbles as well.

In total, the Gamecocks played nine players outside of the starting offense but the only non-skill position reserve player to play was Chandler Farrell, who came in for an injured Zack Bailey.

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Bentley also played every offensive snap with no other quarterback taking a snap, with the primary reason being taking care of the football in the rain.

Scarnecchia finished his home career going 1-0 as a starter, playing in seven games and completing 30 passes for 362 yards.

“If I don’t turn the ball over in the red zone and we get some more touchdowns, probably would have been different and we would have gotten Scar in there,” Bentley said. "But with it being 28-3 we needed to take care of the ball.”

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The Gamecocks (7-5, 4-4 SEC) held on to beat the Zips 28-3 after a stagnant second half where they were shutout. It was just the second time this season they didn’t score in a half.

They put up just 135 yards and four first downs while turning the ball over twice after the break.

“They’re a good football team; we knew that coming in here," Bentley said. "I wish we would have played better, but in everyone’s mind we were ready to play the whole game."

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