The 2022 college football season was filled with a lot of excitement for the University of South Carolina. So, it’s fair to say that the prospect of the team’s 2023 opener against the University of North Carolina at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte on Saturday was highly anticipated. Unfortunately, the result from Saturday’s Duke Mayo Classic was that of an abject disappointment for the Gamecocks.
It wasn’t all bad, though. While South Carolina’s offense wasn’t up to the task of protecting Spencer Rattler, allowing nine sacks to a team that had all of 17 in 2022, he did everything he could to give his team a chance to win. And his coach commended him for that.
“He gave us a chance. Played his butt off. Can’t allow our quarterback to get hit like that. We have to protect him better, obviously,” South Carolina coach Shane Beamer said of Rattler, via On3. “He is a [heck] of a player. Gave us a chance to win the football game. Made some great throws. Penalties, offensively that backed us up at the end of the game, made it tough on him.
“Obviously, throughout the game, we had a tough time running the ball and their pass rushers were able to get going and he is under pressure. Like I said, we have to be able to protect better than what we did.”
The Tar Heels surrendered 30.8 points and 436.5 yards/per game last season, but Gene Chizik’s defense looked different Saturday. They limited South Carolina to just 11 yards on the ground. And even with that, Rattler was able to complete 30-of-39 passes for 353 yards. He didn’t throw a touchdown pass, but he also managed to not turn the football, even though he was sacked nine times.
While Gamecocks fans surely don’t want to hear anything about moral victories, they can hang their hat on the fact that their quarterback is going to keep them in every game this season. And based on his comments, Beamer has confidence that Rattler will give his team a chance just about every time out.