When Bruce Ellington was singled out on Twitter for his pregame dance moves. That might have been a hint it would be a good day for the former South Carolina Gamecocks two-sports standout.
Although Ellington only had one reception for the Houston Texans in the first half of their game against the Los Angeles Rams, it was an important catch.
Ellington put the Texans on the board with his 26-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter. It was Ellington’s second touchdown of the season, his first year as a member of the Texans after starting his NFL career with the San Francisco 49ers.
It was the Texans’ lone score in a 33-7 loss to the Rams.
On the touchdown, Houston quarterback Tom Savage, playing in place of the injured Deshaun Watson, connected with Ellington on a seam route.
Ellington actually had to reach behind him to haul in the football on the left hash mark, but quickly transitioned from catch to focusing down the field. After securing the ball on the 18-yard line, Ellington put his head down and steamed toward the end zone, marching in untouched for Houston’s lone score of the first half.
Ellington also returned a punt 17 yards for the Texans. The former Gamecock basketball player finished the loss with a season-best four receptions for 41 yards.
This season, Ellington has 19 receptions for 241 yards and two touchdowns.
In the game at the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Ellington flashed some nimble footwork as the teams warmed up. He came on to the field, stretched his arms out as he pirouetted. He then jump stepped into a sprint toward the middle of the field.
Ellington is one of many receivers in the game who honed their skills playing college football in South Carolina.
His teammate, DeAndre Hopkins, was Savage’s top target. The former Clemson star led the Texans with seven receptions and 111 yards. Although Hopkins never found the end zone Sunday, he had some big plays, including a 32- and 36-yard catch.
For the season, Hopkins has 58 receptions for 803 yards and has eight touchdowns.
Fellow Gamecock alum Pharoh Cooper was on the opposite sideline of Ellington and Hopkins. The second-year Ram had two receptions for 12 yards in the first half. Cooper, who has six receptions this season, returned two kickoffs for 49 yards and has brought back three punts for 32 yards.
Sammy Watkins, who starred at Clemson alongside Hopkins, was held without a catch in the first half. The receiver in his first season with the Rams after a number of injury-riddled seasons with the Buffalo Bills broke through with a touchdown in the second half.
On a designed play-action play, Rams quarterback Jared Goff faked a handoff before hitting a Watkins with a wide receiver screen. The speedy Watkins did the rest, following his blockers 17 yards for the touchdown.
Watkins had two catches for 41 yards in the game and has 21 receptions for 372 yards and four touchdowns.