Spencer Rattler had one of the best day of his unpredictable profession, throwing for 438 yards and 5 touchdowns as South Carolina beat No. 5 Tennessee 63-38 on Saturday night time, all however eliminating the Volunteers from the playoffs.
Tennessee (9-2, 6-2 Southeastern, No. 5 CFP) might have additionally misplaced Heisman Trophy candidate Hendon Hooker, who left the sport within the fourth quarter with a leg damage, falling and fumbling with out being hit.
Even earlier than the damage, the quarterback of the night time was Rattler, who went from Heisman contender to the bench at Oklahoma in 2021. The junior lastly lived as much as the potential followers of South Carolina (7-4, 4-4) hoped for when he arrived.
Rattler got here into the night time with 9 interceptions and eight touchdowns and averaging 198 yards a sport passing. There have been questions requested about whether or not the Gamecocks would possibly need to check out the backup.
However the junior was affected person within the pocket, dropping passes into the narrowest of home windows. He ran when he needed to with 5 carries for 16 yards. And he even caught a go within the purple zone from Dakeron Joyner, who South Carolina usually makes use of as a operating menace underneath middle.
Rattler’s finest day earlier than Saturday was 387 yards in opposition to Kansas State for Oklahoma in 2020 and 5 TDs for the Sooners in opposition to Western Carolina in 2021.
Antwane Wells Jr. caught 11 passes for 177 yards and Josh Vann and Jaheim Bell every caught two touchdowns for the Gamecocks.
The Tennessee protection might do nearly nothing to cease the eleventh finest offense within the SEC. The Gamecocks gained 606 yards after failing to recover from 300 yards in three of their previous 4 video games.
The 63 factors have been probably the most the Vols have ever allowed in an SEC sport, eclipsing the 62-37 loss to Steve Spurrier’s Florida in 1995.
Hooker was 25 of 42 for 247 yards and three TDs earlier than his damage. There was no speedy phrase on the severity of his harm leg, however he didn’t return to the sport.
Joe Milton III took over at QB for the Vols when Hooker went down, turning the ball over on downs after driving into the purple zone then main a four-play 75-yard scoring drive within the remaining two minutes.
Tennessee: A promising season for Tennessee imploded when the protection couldn’t make a cease. South Carolina scored touchdowns on 9 of 11 drives. One of many unsuccessful ones was a one-play drive that ended the primary half.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks beat a Prime 5 crew for under the seventh time and their followers rushed the sphere. It was their largest win since knocking off No. 2 Georgia 20-17 in 2019 in double additional time. The 63 factors have been probably the most in an SEC sport by the Gamecocks since they beat Mississippi State 65-39 in 1995.
On a day when lots of the high groups bent, however did not break (see No. 2 Ohio State, No. 3 Michigan and No. 4 TCU), Tennessee acquired run over. The Vols possible will take a big plunge within the new Related Press Prime 25 on Sunday.
Tennessee: The Vols head to Vanderbilt. Tennessee has a 3 sport profitable streak within the sequence after shedding three in a row.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks head to Clemson, who’ve gained seven in a row within the bitter in-state rivalry.