Gamecocks topple No. 5 Vols, hang 63 in victory
COLUMBIA, S.C.– Spencer Rattler had the best day of his unforeseeable career, throwing for 438 lawns and six goals as South Carolina beat No. 5 Tennessee 63-38 on Saturday night, all but getting rid of the Volunteers from the playoffs.Tennessee (9-2, 6-2 Southeastern)might have also lost Heisman Prize competitor Hendon Hooker, who left the game in the fourth quarter with a leg injury, falling and fumbling without being hit.Tennessee coach Josh Heupel said he didn’t have an update
on Hooker’s status which the team will evaluate him when it goes back to Knoxville.Even prior to the injury, the quarterback of the night was Rattler, who went from Heisman hopeful to the bench at Oklahoma in 2021. The junior finally measured up to the capacity that fans of South Carolina(7-4, 4-4)hoped for when he got here. 1 Associated”That was probably the very best I have actually ever felt in a game. I felt unstoppable,” stated Rattler, including he believed it was one
of the best
wins in college football history.”This game and the next one could alter the story of this program permanently,”Rattler said.Rattler came into the night with 9 interceptions and eight goals and balancing 198 passing lawns per game. There were questions asked about whether the Gamecocks might want to check out the backup.But the junior was patient in the pocket, dropping enters the narrowest of windows. He ran when he had to with five brings for 16 backyards. And he even captured a pass in the red zone
from Dakereon Joyner, who South Carolina generally utilizes as a running risk under center.”He was on. You discuss players and being in the zone,” South Carolina coach Shane Beamer said.Rattler’s career highs before Saturday were 387 backyards versus Kansas State for Oklahoma in 2020 and five TDs for the Sooners versus Western Carolina in 2021. Antwane Wells Jr. caught 11 passes for 177 backyards, and Josh Vann and Jaheim Bell each caught two touchdowns for the Gamecocks.The Tennessee defense might do nearly nothing to stop the 11th-best offense in the SEC. The Gamecocks gained 606 backyards after failing
to overcome 300 backyards in three of their past 4 games. The 63 points are the most by an unranked team against an AP top-five challenger in the survey age
, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.”Clearly, very dissatisfied with the performance and the result of the football game,”Heupel said.” It’s everybody included, from myself to our assistant coaches to our players, had a chance here and didn’t make the most of it, didn’t play well. Credit to South Carolina. They did play well.
Just disappointing that we didn’t perform much better.” Hooker was 25-of-42 for 247 lawns and 3 TDs before his injury. There was no instant word on the intensity of his hurt leg, however he did not go back to the game. Joe Milton III took over at QB for the Vols when Hooker decreased, turning the ball over on downs after driving into the red zone, then leading a four-play, 75-yard scoring drive in the last 2 minutes.The Associated Press added to this story.