Hayden Hurst had to do something to help his quarterback, even if it wasn’t his role in the play.
It was late in the fourth quarter. The Gamecocks were in mild desperation mode, down 14 against No. 1 Georgia. Jake Bentley took the snap, and as he surveyed downfield, he was beset upon.
A defensive tackle came through and got hands on Bentley. He tried to pull the quarterback down, but Bentley shooed him, and with several other defenders around, he heaved it into the middle of the field.
There was Hurst, not 100 percent where he was supposed to be.
“The design of the play is I’m supposed to pull the safety and Bryan (Edwards) goes over the top on the post, (Jake) puts it up for him,” Hurst said. “But Jake escaped two guys there and I just kind of found the void and hooked it up for him and he found me.”
It certainly was a void, as Hurst was relatively open when the ball landed. He gained 23 yards, and only that few because the last-line-of-defense safety made a nice tackle.
On the day, Hurst had a career-high 93 yards, with gains of 35 and 20 yards to go along with that catch, one that helps USC’s sophomore quarterback out of a precarious spot.
“Tried to make a play,” Bentley said, “broke a tackle and just saw him in the middle of the field. So I just put it up to him.”
Hurst was called on in the third quarter to throw the ball in a fake punt situation. He fired a ball to linebacker Skai Moore, who drew an interference call and kept the drive alive.
Right after Hurst’s first pass, he threw another on a double pass that fell incomplete.
Hurst is second on the team this season with 30 catches and 421 yards.