South Carolina football needed a late boost before the half. The Gamecocks got it from its star player.
Down 14-3 to Tennessee with less than a minute left in the second quarter, USC had the ball on the Volunteers’ three-yard line when quarterback Jake Bentley dropped back for just his 13th passing attempt of the game. As the pocket collapsed around him, Bentley scrambled to his left and avoided the sack, then threw a high lofted pass to the corner of the end zone.
Senior wide receiver Deebo Samuel was there and somehow hauled the pass in with one hand for the touchdown. South Carolina missed the extra point to make the score 14-9.
The catch was Samuel’s 10th career receiving TD and 17th total. At halftime against Tennessee, he had three catches for eight yards and two rushes for eight yards.
Bentley now has 38 passing touchdowns in his USC career, tying him for sixth most in program history. He finished the first half of Saturday’s game with eight completions on 13 attempts for 61 yards, a touchdown and an interception.