Slow starts had been a concern as of late for South Carolina football.
That wasn’t an issue Saturday against Ole Miss, as star senior wide receiver Deebo Samuel returned the opening kickoff 90 yards for his fourth career return touchdown and first of the season to give the Gamecocks a 7-0 early lead.
The Rebels seemed to attempt a short kick to specifically to avoid Samuel, but redshirt freshman offensive lineman Eric Douglas attempted to catch the ball and fumbled it. Samuel then scooped the ball up and sprinted nearly untouched the length of the field.
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Samuel last returned a kick for a touchdown on Sept. 9, 2017, against Missouri. He now has two more kicks returned for scores than any other player in program history, and is tied for the most in SEC history.
In 2018, Samuel has had five receiving touchdowns, a career high. With Saturday’s touchdown return, his total touchdown total at USC now stands at 18.