If Spencer Rattler was “spaghetti” last week against UNC — in the words of offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains — the quarterback must have been icing in South Carolina’s 47-21 win over Furman on Saturday night.
In his first two games of the 2023 season, Rattler has completed 55 of 66 passes (83%) for 698 yards and three touchdowns — and no turnovers. Only two incompletions (both in the second quarter) came against the Paladins. His rating for the night was a staggering 236.6.
Rattler exudes swagger on the field. He had to in order to lead his offense to two touchdowns in the final 43 seconds of the first half. And to connect on six passes for 20 or more yards (42, 46, 53, 36, 27 and 20).
If South Carolina fans didn’t know this was the same Spencer Rattler from his scolding-hot finish to last season, Luke Doty is here with your newsflash.
“When you talk about 7 and everybody is seeing what he can do out there, it’s funny because we see it on a daily basis,” Doty said after the game. “We see that that kind of intensity and that the leadership, the passion.
“… We know every single day when 7 walks in the building, he means business. And he’s gonna keep putting up numbers like he’s putting up right now and just keep getting better throughout the season.”
The “this is business” version of Rattler shows up behind the microphone at every press conference. His in-game exuberance melts away. He is polite, succinct and humble.
After the first two contests of 2023, he’s been asked plenty of questions that could allow him to revel in his ego. But instead he deflects, praising his teammates and coaches over himself.
“Having guys like this,” Rattler said, motioning to Xavier Legette after the game, “to go up and get the ball make it easy because some of them plays might not be a perfect ball, but they’re gonna go make the catch. And it’s just the trust I got in him and all the other guys as well that made plays.”
If you want a more direct assessment of Rattler’s capabilities, ask coach Shane Beamer.
“He’s a special talent,” Beamer said. “He’s an elite talent. You saw that tonight. There’s not a quarterback in the country I’d rather have than that guy. I promise you that.”
Rattler’s fast start and accuracy allowed the Gamecocks’ remaining four scholarship quarterbacks to suit up in the second half: Doty, Tanner Bailey, Colten Gauthier and LaNorris Sellers (the latter threw for his first collegiate touchdown).
“When you get a chance to put every single quarterback in your room in the game and we perform like we did, it’s always a good day,” Doty said.
Saturday was a very good day for the Gamecocks. In Rattler’s own words: “everybody ate.” They’ll need to carb-load on confidence this week in preparation for the beginning of conference play in Athens, Georgia next Saturday.
One thing seems certain, though. Rattler will continue to provide.