Confident Bentley, South Carolina set to take on Virginia

Virginia's Bryce Perkins looks to pass against South Carolina during the first half of the Belk Bowl NCAA college football game in Charlotte on Saturday

Virginia's Bryce Perkins looks to pass against South Carolina during the first half of the Belk Bowl NCAA college football game in Charlotte on Saturday

Bentley said South Carolina's offense has a "never scared mentality".

"Watching film on him, he's a heck of a player", Thornhill said of Samuel, "so it's going to affect them just a little bit, but it's not going to have that much of an effect on them because they're a good team and there's always someone that's willing to step up and make the same amount of plays that he was making, so we don't think it's going to be any different". Wake Forest eventually edged the Aggies 55-52, but both schools accumulated more than 600 yards of total offense and set countless records. At 6-2 overall and 4-1 in ACC play, the Cavaliers were the frontrunners to win the ACC Coastal. But the Cavaliers lost subsequent ACC games to Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech by a combined 16 points - their lone November victory was a non-conference home conquest of Liberty.

Two themes arise in Virginia's late fades under Mendenhall: The opponents were talented, and the Cavaliers' roster wasn't strong enough to withstand the rigors of a full season. The Virginia Tech loss - UVA's 15th-straight to the Hokies - was especially devastating. But now the Cavs have a chance to end the season on a high note.

It may prove to be a more interesting game than its noon counterpart, the Peach Bowl. MI and Florida have played way too many times in recent years, so this game - a matchup of the SEC's third-best pass offense and the ACC's second-best pass defense - will be a nice alternative before the Cotton Bowl later that afternoon. Bentley has averaged 246 yards passing in 12 games this season and has thrown 27 touchdowns against 12 interceptions for a 153.6 passer rating.

South Carolina QB Jake Bentley is closing in on 3,000 yards passing — with 510 of those coming against No. 2 Clemson. However, he will be without Deebo Samuel, his top target.

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Samuel, a 6-foot, 210-pound redshirt senior who announced December 3 that he would be preparing for the upcoming NFL Draft and therefore would not be participating in the bowl game, was the top weapon through the air this season for SC junior quarterback Jake Bentley.

There was also a tie between these two teams. He will have at least 75 yards receiving and a touchdown. In his four seasons at Virginia, the 5-foot-8 Zaccheaus has 239 catches for 2,668 yards and 19 touchdowns.

"I think I'm more knowledgeable of the game", Bentley said about how he has improved from his sophomore season.

"We have to do a better job of finishing games out", Cavaliers quarterback Bryce Perkins said on the eve of Saturday's noon Belk Bowl in Charlotte, N.C., against SC. SC quarterback Jake Bentley has thrown at least one pick in eight of 11 games this year, and has thrown three in his past two games.

Samuel's reason for skipping the Belk Bowl is simple: a projected early-round draft choice, he was concerned about the possibility of reaggravating the fibula injury that limited him to just three games last season, hindering his chances to ultimately play professionally and provide for his family. However, that resulted in an embarrassing loss to Navy. Every year we have advanced (the program). Virginia will be looking to pick up their first Bowl victory since the 2005 season when the Cavaliers defeated the Minnesota Golden Gophers in the Music City Bowl.

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