South Carolina managed one of the biggest wins in program history on Saturday night against fifth-placed Tennessee, upsetting the Volunteers as a 23-point underdog to win 63–38. Because of this, Tennessee suffered their second loss of the season, likely ending the Vols’ hopes of making the college football playoffs. This was the most points the Gamecocks have ever scored against top 5 opponents. Spencer Rattlerthe transfer guard from Oklahoma put in an outstanding performance with six touchdowns.
“It’s a great night for the Rattler, Marcus Satterfield and company,” ESPN’s Kirk Herbstrait said in the fourth quarter.Shane Beamer trying to build a program here and wins like this, you can already imagine the interview after the game. This is a landmark victory in terms of recruiting. He’s trying to create some momentum here, and such a win justifies his vision. It’s not just about knocking you out of fifth place in Tennessee, it really helps you achieve what you’re trying to do here.”
Rattler threw for 438 yards, a season-high for the Gamecocks, who scored 35 points in the first half and 21 in the last quarter.
Here’s some reaction to one of South Carolina’s biggest wins in recent years that could give momentum moving forward:
Five possessions, five touchdowns for South Carolina
Spencer Rattler is 14/19 for 249 yards and four touchdowns as the Gamecocks lead Tennessee 35-17??pic.twitter.com/zpaZrZvpYK
— 247Sport (@247Sport) November 20, 2022
Rattler’s impressive performance became the subject of discussion on social media, from journalists to NFL scouts and fans. It was a vintage performance that the former Oklahoma quarterback had never played with the Gamecocks.
“You can’t answer better than him,” ESPN’s Chris Fowler said of Rattler.
It was a serious loss for Tennessee, and not otherwise, given that the volunteers in the playoff race entered Saturday’s game. However, beating this species likely eliminates Vols from contention.
It is possible that someone from the South Carolina coaching box will break the glass before the game is over. The energy level and the screams are louder than I’ve ever heard from any staff in the 15 years I’ve been here.
— Heath Kline (@heathradio) November 20, 2022
You can count on the fingers of one hand the number of all-time wins that would compare to this Gamecocks win when you consider how unlikely it was against a national championship contender. South Carolina was underdog at home with three touchdowns but never fell behind and dominated from start to finish.
Spencer Rattler was making NFL shots all night.
— John Whittle (@johnmwhittle) November 20, 2022
Rattler maintained his best record for his last home appearance of the season, finishing with 438 yards and six touchdowns. This was the most points scored by an unranked team against an AP top 5 opponent since 1936, and Rattler was the cause.
This is Spencer Rattler, who was promised to Gamecock fans
— Cam Gaskins (@CamGaskinsTV) November 20, 2022
There’s a reason why Rattler was one of the best transfer defenders in the country, and he showed his talent throughout the game with many deep shots, crossings and border shots with masterful accuracy.
The South Carolina attack did an excellent job of this. Everyone intervenes, leaving Tennessee guessing.
If it turns out this will be Marcus Satterfield’s last home game, it’s been called great.
— Brad Crawford (@BCrawford247) November 20, 2022
Sutterfield has received a ton of criticism this season, and rightly so with South Carolina coming into play. But it was the night it all came together for the Gamecocks offense from a passing point of view, and every playmaker was involved.
Tennessee seems to have been worried about the wrong USC.
— Peter Burns (@PeterBurnsESPN) November 20, 2022
Tennessee never foresaw this—no one foresaw this. The Vols’ three-game winning streak over South Carolina is over and the Gamecocks could now finish with eight wins and a top 25 ranking if they can beat Clemson next week.
I didn’t 100% think South Carolina would beat Tennessee but they’re 16 minutes away from sending the Vols home with a doodoo lip
— Michael Felder (@InTheBleachers) November 20, 2022
South Carolina doubled down on one of the best teams in the country, something no one predicted in Week 12. In fact, this is the most shocking result of a season in college football, and the Gamecocks were able to do it in front of a sold-out crowd at home.
Tennessee deserves to lose this game.
Hendon Hooker doesn’t deserve a serious knee injury.
— Wes Rucker (@wesrucker247) November 20, 2022
Tennessee’s starting quarterback went down in the fourth quarter with a non-contact injury and the coaches needed help off the field. He fumbled the game and the Gamecocks scored a few games later to advance 21 points.
Tonight is a great reminder that this successful season is ahead of Josh Hupel’s schedule. Because this defense is really terrible after a couple of injuries. Must recruit. Especially on the secondary.
— Chad Whitrow (@TheChadWithrow) November 20, 2022
The fifth-placed Vols won their last three games against the Gamecocks and maintained a 28-10-2 lead in the all-time series through Saturday night. The two teams have played many close games since 2000, but the Vols have beaten South Carolina by 20 points or more in two of the last three years.