In a young season where South Carolina seemed to get all the breaks, the biggest one hurt the most. Deebo Samuel, a player who gained national attention through his first two weeks with dazzling kickoff returns and receiving touchdowns, injured his leg on a third quarter curl route, said head coach Will Muschamp.
Muschamp said in his postgame press conference that Samuel’s season was over, but Samuel contradicted that statement on Twitter:
Thank all y’all for the support…… it’s is not a broken leg low ankle fracture we will be back in 5-6 weeks #GoGamecocks❤️
— UnoCaptain‼️❌ (@Uno_Captain) September 17, 2017
The injury serves as a crushing blow on a night that saw South Carolina squander two early turnovers and a sold-out crowd to lose, 23-13, to Kentucky.
The loss marks the fourth consecutive loss to the Wildcats, much of the games coming with the same blueprint. Kentucky, who rushed for more than 200 yards last year on South Carolina, ran it for 184 yards Saturday, with a 54-yard scramble by quarterback Stephen Johnson the last exclamation point in the Wildcats’ triumph.
The Gamecocks outgained an opponent for the first time this season, but had missed opportunities on both sides of the football, allowing the Wildcats to go 9-of-16 on third down, while converting only 3-of-12 third downs on offense.
Despite the inefficiencies, the main topic postgame was Deebo Samuel’s health, as Will Muschamp addressed the media after the game:
Samuel’s injury marks the second straight season with an injury to one of the most key contributors for the Gamecocks, as Skai Moore missed all of last season with a neck injury. Moore, who had an interception against Kentucky, said he’ll do whatever he can to help Samuel through the setback:
Gamecock QB Jake Bentley, whose 68-yard touchdown pass on the first play from scrimmage ignited an already over-excited crowd, finished 24-36 for 304 yards and 2 touchdowns, but he also threw two picks. Now he’ll be without his best receiver for over a month.
Click below to view Will Palaszczuk’s Postgame Periscope report:
— SportsTalk (@sportstalksc) September 17, 2017