No. 5 Tennessee’s goals of creating the School Soccer Playoff light because the Volunteers didn’t cease the South Carolina offense Saturday night time in a 63-38 loss.
And once we say Tennessee could not cease South Carolina, we imply it actually. Exterior of a one-play drive to finish the primary half, South Carolina (7–4) scored touchdowns on eight of their first 9 possessions. The Gamecocks scored on their first 5 possessions of the night time and did not rating till the third quarter because of a improbable efficiency by QB Spencer Rattler.
If the loss itself wasn’t dangerous sufficient, the night time received even worse for Tennessee (10-2) within the fourth quarter when Hendon Hooker, the Heisman quarterback prospect, fell to the bottom untouched. Hooker suffered an damage to his left knee through the play and by no means returned to the sport after limping to the locker room.
Rattler was transferred from Oklahoma to South Carolina previous to the 2022 season after being changed because the Sooners’ beginning quarterback by Caleb Williams. Rattler struggled in 2021 as he opened the season as a Heisman favourite and got here to South Carolina seeking to seize the 2020 kind that made him a preseason Heisman contender.
That kind eluded him till Saturday night time. After throwing eight touchdowns and 9 interceptions in South Carolina’s first 10 video games of the season, Rattler threw six touchdowns and no interceptions as South Carolina scored essentially the most factors by a ranked staff versus a staff within the prime 5. of the AP vote.
Finest Spencer Rattler recreation ever
Rattler by no means threw 5 touchdowns in a single recreation at Oklahoma – not to mention six – and his 438 yards are a career-high. It was clear that South Carolina needed to attain as many factors as doable when Rattler was nonetheless pitching within the last minutes of the fourth quarter and located Jalen Brooks for a 20-yard catch-and-run TD with 2:06 to go.
South Carolina scored 28 straight factors to finish the sport after Tennessee lower USC’s result in 4 with 9:53 left within the third quarter. The 9 TDs the Gamecocks scored in opposition to UT got here after USC had solely 18 offensive scores general of their first seven SEC video games of the season.
The Gamecocks had over 500 yards of offense and likewise rushed for 3 factors. Antwane Wells Jr. had 10 receptions for 141 yards and Josh Vann had a 60-yard TD reception and an 18-yard TD reception because the Tennessee secondary simply could not cowl.
Tennessee’s offense wasn’t as explosive because it has been at occasions in 2022, nevertheless it was nonetheless adequate to win the sport with a good exhibiting by Tennessee’s protection. In any case, South Carolina had solely scored six factors in opposition to Florida the week earlier than and 10 factors in opposition to Missouri on October twenty ninth.
However the protection was the Vols’ undoing, as UT’s possibilities of making the playoffs at the moment are zero. No staff with two losses has made the School Soccer Playoff and Tennessee is not going to be within the SEC title recreation. With out that additional recreation, the Vols will end 10-2 at greatest and head into New Yr’s Six bowl recreation. I hope this recreation contains Hooker and his knee damage is not too severe.