South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley delivered a vital run when his team needed it early in the final minute against Louisiana Tech, and there wasn’t much of a plan.
“Honestly, I was just running as fast as I could,” Bentley said almost sheepishly. “You’re not supposed to scramble in a 2-minutes situation. But I stepped up and there was no one there. I was like, ‘Let’s try this out for once. Let’s see what we can do here.”
His run on third-and-10 started by slipping a sack and dodging an attempt at another. He ran toward open space, got past the line and kept going.
There was a juke, not much of one but just there, and a little spin at the end as he made his final fall forward.
A play later, he worked through his progressions and threw a jump ball Bryan Edwards fought for and won to set up the winning score.
As he looked back at the run, he seemed to be looking for a way to send the credit elsewhere.
“Just trying to make a play,” Bentley said. “Just a great job by our guys staying focused.”
The roller coaster of Ty’Son Williams’ season just hit another climb. His three games before Saturday went zero carries, lead the team in rushing, zero carries.
So he was due for a big one.
Getting his first start in a Gamecocks uniform, Williams delivered. His 95 yards were the best for a USC runner this season. His 35-yard touchdown in the late going gave South Carolina its first lead.
Williams gained 47 yards on eight touches on USC’s opening possession.
▪ Wide receiver OrTre Smith caught his second and third career passes, including his second touchdown in as many games.
▪ After Helms went out, the Gamecocks had an offensive line missing two starters, as Zack Bailey also missed the game, that had also shuffled its left tackle spot.
▪ Announced attendance was 71,821, but the stands looked sparse for much of the game, and grew more so as USC trailed and struggled to score.
▪ The newest USC Athletics Hall of Fame class of Bill Currier, Jamar Nesbit, Eric Norwood, Larry Davis, Randy Martz, Tricia Popowski, Chuck Allen and Jennifer (Van Assen) Brunelli were on hand and recognized before the game.
▪ South Carolina’s captains were Jake Bentley, Bryan Edwards, TJ Brunson, Skai Moore.
▪ The Gamecocks posted season highs for yards (438) and yards per play (6.5).