COLUMBIA, SC – Spencer Rattler had the very best day of his unpredictable profession, throwing for 438 yards and 6 touchdowns as South Carolina beat No. 5 Tennessee 63-38 Saturday evening, all however eliminating the Volunteers from the playoffs.
Tennessee (9-2, 6-2 Southeastern) may additionally have misplaced Heisman Trophy contender Hendon Hooker, who left the sport within the fourth quarter with a leg damage, falling and fumbling with out being hit.
Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel stated he didn’t have an replace on Hooker’s standing and that the group would consider him when he returns to Knoxville.
Even earlier than the damage, the quarterback of the evening was Rattler, who went from Heisman hopeful to the bench in Oklahoma in 2021. The junior lastly lived as much as the potential that South Carolina followers (7-4, 4-4) anticipated when he arrived.
Rattler entered the evening with 9 interceptions and eight touchdowns and a median of 198 yards per sport. There have been questions on whether or not the Gamecocks may need to take a look at backup.
However the junior was affected person within the pocket, throwing passes on the narrowest home windows. He ran when he wanted to with 5 carries for 16 yards. And he even caught a move within the crimson zone from Dakereon Joyner, who South Carolina usually makes use of as a operating risk at middle.
Rattler’s profession highs earlier than Saturday had been 387 yards towards Kansas State for Oklahoma in 2020 and 5 TDs for the Sooners towards 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.
Tennessee’s protection might do nearly nothing to cease the eleventh finest offense within the SEC. The Gamecocks gained 606 yards after failing to move 300 yards in three of their final 4 video games. The 63 factors are essentially the most by an unranked group towards an AP top-five opponent within the polling period, in keeping with the ESPN Stats & Data ballot.
“Clearly extraordinarily disillusioned with the efficiency and consequence of the soccer sport,” Heupel stated. “Everybody concerned, from me to our assistant coaches to our gamers, had a chance right here they usually did not take it, they did not play effectively. Credit score to South Carolina. They performed effectively. Simply disappointing that we did not carry out higher.”
Hooker was 25-of-42 for 247 yards and three touchdowns earlier than his damage. There was no quick phrase on the severity of his injured leg, however he didn’t return to the sport. Joe Milton III took over QB for the Vols as Hooker went down, turning the ball over on downs after driving into the crimson zone, then main a 75-yard scoring drive in 4 performs within the ultimate two minutes.
The Related Press contributed to this story.