It was a payoff moment for South Carolina tight end Kyle Markway.
He’s been through a lot in his time as a Gamecock. The injuries, waiting his turn and a nice start followed by setbacks were all part of the journey from Missouri to that moment when he found himself open down the middle Saturday, ready for a pass from quarterback Michael Scarnecchia to put the home-state Tigers in a bad spot.
“It was definitely kind of emotional, what I’ve been through,” Markway said “But all the work paid off, just with that play.”
He caught the ball, 27 yards on a busted coverage, in the final minute against the Mizzou team his father once played for, the same Tigers that looked at him in high school but decided, ‘No thanks.’ His catch set up USC’s game-winning kick in a 37-35 victory.
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Then he got to celebrate with his parents and grandma, who were at the game. When he got his phone, it was filled with texts from old friends from the Show Me State.
“It means a lot,” Markway said. “Being from there, I had a lot of people from home watching. So it’s fun to interact with them after the game.”
His journey as a Gamecock in some ways started with a Missouri game. As a true freshman, he was given his first career start in Columbia, Mo., by Steve Spurrier.
At the time, he’d played 12 games as a freshman, but by the end of the season, Jacob August seemed to be taking more of the snaps as the backup tight end.
Then came the foot injury that forced him to redshirt 2016. In 2017, he found himself low on the tight end totem poll and missed 11 games with a rib injury.
He opened 2018 as the No. 4 tight end and wasn’t getting much work until injuries limited K.C. Crosby and Jacob August.
When his chance came, he made good.
“To have Kyle make that play against the home-state school … that’s pretty neat,” Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp said.
Markway said he knew the ball was coming almost as soon as the play started.
He was asked if there was something nice about making that kind of play against the school he had ties to and the school that passed on him.
“We’ve beaten them three years in a row now, so glad I’m here.”