South Carolina’s Deebo Samuel has a 97-yard kick return for a touchdown in each of the Gamecocks’ first two games, but he’ll have to get past Kentucky’s own kickoff specialist if he plans to make it three straight games with a kick return score.
Kentucky has Austin MacGinnis as its answer for Samuel on kickoffs. MacGinnis, known mostly for his leg, has added “hard-hitting tackler” to his player scouting report this season.
Ask Eastern Kentucky’s LJ Scott, who was on the receiving end of MacGinnis’ hit stick on two separate occasions Saturday. Scott slipped past the Cats’ kickoff unit, but couldn’t shake Baby Ray Lewis in the 99 jersey holding down the backline.
Look at that form:
MacGinnis prevented two EKU kick return touchdowns, but Mark Stoops wants to see a much better job in coverage against Samuel and South Carolina.
“We took a step back there in kickoff coverage,” Stoops said during his Monday press conference. “We have to get that corrected by this week. We know what we’re getting into this week with their kickoff return with Deebo back there. He’s a real, real weapon.”
As good as Samuel is on kickoffs, he is probably having MacGinnis nightmares this week. I bet the doesn’t take it out of the end zone.