Rattler Leads Gamecocks to 47-21 Victory over Furman

Dick Cox

September 13, 2023 at 12:00 pm.

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina senior quarterback Spencer Rattler played an almost perfect game completing 25 of 27 passes for 345 yards and three touchdowns in just 2 1/2 quarters of to lead Carolina to a 47-21 win over Furman in the Gamecocks home season opener at Williams Brice Stadium in front of a sell-out crowd of 78,281.

Rattler, a preseason favorite to win the Heisman Trophy three years ago, has started this season as one of the hottest quarterbacks in the country. In two games, he has completed 55 of 66 passes with no interceptions and 698 yards and three touchdowns. He has an 83.3 percent completion rate and a quarterback efficiency rate of 187.2.

“Kind of like Xavier Legette said, ‘we really put in the work this offseason to have success on the field.’ I love what Coach Loggains is doing with us and I think it compliments us really well,” Rattler said when asked if he had even surprised himself with the hot start.

Legette has been Rattler’s favorite receiver the first two weeks with 15 receptions for 296 yards and one touchdown. After the game, Legette talked about the chemistry that he and Rattler have.

“I have a whole lot of confidence. We’ve put the time in, so we were confident going into tonight,” he said.

“He’s a special talent. He’s an elite talent. You saw that tonight,” South Carolina coach Shane Beamer said regarding Legette.

Perhaps most important factor in the game, Ratter was not sacked Saturday a week after North Carolina sacked him nine times.

Furman jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead scoring on their first possession of the game. They also led 14-7 before the Gamecocks scored the game’s next 40 points.

The difference in the game was when with the score tied at 14-14, South Carolina scored two touchdowns in the final 43 seconds of the first half to take a 27-14 lead into the locker room.

The crushing blow came after a Furman punt with 23 seconds left before intermission and Carolina up 20-14. Rattler only needed 20 of those seconds to drive the Gamecocks 75 yards for a touchdown. The big play in the drive was a 53-yard strike to Legette, who caught six passes for 118 yards in the game.

South Carolina was able to play its entire roster in the second half, including the entire talented freshman class. Freshman quarterback, LaNorris Sellers completed all four of his passes for 86 yards and two touchdowns, including a 50-yard touchdown toss to Tyshawn Russell. Sellers also completed a touchdown pass to freshman 5-star wide receiver Nick Harbor. Beamer said that Sellers was giddy with his play and his coach was too.

“I thought he looked pretty dang good. He was awesome,” Beamer said.

Furman, ranked sixth in FCS, had a couple of long touchdown drives. Tyler Huff was 14-of-24 passing for 129 yards, while Joshua Harris caught six passes for 73 yards.

“I say that we felt like we were in a really good position to compete and we talked about how you’re going to have those – we use the word ‘tsunamis’ come at you from time to time,” said Furman head coach Clay Hendrix. “We just couldn’t let the tsunami fall and get followed by another one and it snowballed on us.

“We got a couple of tough calls that went against us. We lost containment of the quarterback a couple of times. It gives him a chance to heave it down the field and certainly makes it tougher to cover. I still felt like if we could have come up in the third quarter and put a drive together, we could go back to making it a one possession game, but we couldn’t.”

The Paladins head to Kennesaw State on Saturday for their final non-conference game before eight in a row in the Southern Conference.

South Carolina heads to No. 1 Georgia on Saturday in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams. The Gamecocks have lost seven of their last eight games against the Bulldogs.

Coach’s Postgame Report

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