There’s a level of trust South Carolina’s coaches put in their wide receivers.
When they have 1-on-1 matchups, the Gamecocks often require their pass catchers to go get it. It’s not that the scheme produces a wide-open man. The ball will go into a tight window and the receiver will have to do something hard and get the better of his man.
And Deebo Samuel put on a clinic on that front in Saturday’s win against Missouri, making what coach Will Muschamp called “plays only a few of us can make on this earth.”
“It’s all concentration,” Samuel said. “As a receiver you’re taught you have to make plays, and when receivers make plays, I think we win.”
The redshirt sophomore hauled in nine passes for 125 yards. Seven of those catches went for 11 or more yards. Three converted third and long.
Since coming back from a hamstring issue, Samuel has terrorized opposing defenses, averaging 101 yards a game.
Muschamp said quarterback Jake Bentley has certain things he’s looking for. The quarterback doesn’t need to much space to let it fly, and his receiver has to get to work.
“Depending where he [Samuel] is on the defender, we have a couple of back shoulder situations we hit,” Muschamp said, referencing a play where Samuel grabbed a well-contested pass. “Deebo made a play on it. There are some times when he’s on top of the DB we’re going to lay the ball on top, which we did a couple of times and made plays. There are a lot of reps involved in that.”