Jake Bentley saves the day as South Carolina escapes with win over Louisiana Tech

South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley (19) looks for an open teammate against Louisiana Tech defensive end Jaylon Ferguson (45) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

Jake Bentley saved South Carolina from a bad loss to Louisiana Tech with both his arm and his legs.

After leading 6-0 at halftime, Louisiana Tech retook the lead, 16-14, with 55 seconds to go when Jonathan Barnes hit his third field goal of the game. And when South Carolina regained possession, it quickly was faced with third and 10.

That’s when Bentley made two huge plays to save the day for the Gamecocks in a 17-16 win.

First, Bentley narrowly avoided the rush and took off for a 24-yard run all the way out to the 45.

(via ESPN)

On the ensuing play, Bentley got some help (well a lot of help) from Bryan Edwards.

(via ESPN)

That was a risky — and gutsy pass — from Bentley into a crowded area. The 6-foot-3 Edwards, who caught six balls for 122 yards with star Deebo Samuel sidelined, skied over a Louisiana Tech defender for 41 yards, giving the Gamecocks a chance to escape with a much-needed win after last week’s debacle against Kentucky.

Even though the Gamecocks were down to the 14-yard line, things were still uneasy in Williams-Brice Stadium. Kicker Parker White, a freshman, was 0-for-4 on field goals so far in his career, and had missed his first two attempts on Saturday. Despite the rough start to the year, White calmly stepped up and drilled the 31-yard attempt, sending the Carolina fans home (somewhat) happy with a 17-16 win.

Louisiana Tech is not a bad team. The Bulldogs knocked off defending C-USA champions Western Kentucky on the road last week, but are still a group South Carolina should have handled much easier than this.

South Carolina better get its act together in a hurry if it wants to compete for an SEC East title.

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Sam Cooper is a writer for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!