NC State had a tough time containing South Carolina’s Deebo Samuel.
The junior wide receiver returned the game’s opening kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown and also made a big impact in the passing game, finishing the game — a 35-28 Gamecocks victory — with five catches for 83 yards and two scores. Samuel’s first touchdown was a six-yard connection with Jake Bentley in the second quarter, but his second touchdown catch was far more memorable.
With the game tied 21-21 early in the third, Bentley faked a handoff and narrowly avoided a sack while rolling right on play action before firing a deep ball — while on the run — to Samuel in the end zone.
Samuel hauled the pass in with one hand for a highlight reel connection. Watch this:
Here are a few more angles to showcase how difficult the play was for both Bentley and Samuel.
The two are quickly turning into one of the better QB-WR combinations in the SEC.
Samuel’s second touchdown gave the Gamecocks a 28-21 lead. The lead quickly increased to 35-21 after an NC State fumble turned into a Rico Dowdle touchdown run.
NC State cut the lead to 35-28 on a fourth and goal touchdown pass from Ryan Finley to Jaylen Samuels with 12:21 to play. The Wolfpack had several tries to tie it, including advancing inside the South Carolina 10-yard line in the game’s final minute, but the Gamecocks held strong and eked out a win.
It was an impressive showing to open Will Muschamp’s second season in Columbia. Jake Bentley is only a sophomore, but looks like he could prove to be one of the better quarterbacks in the SEC by season’s end. The offense is clearly improved from last fall, and the defense looks strong too. It’s only one game, but the Gamecocks have the talent to contend in the SEC East.
More college football coverage from Yahoo Sports:
• Refs take away Missouri TD for excessive celebration
• Picture this: Clemson band trolls Ohio State
• Michigan State WR hauls in incredible one-handed TD catch
• Wyoming punter’s epic blooper costs team dearly
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