South Carolina Football: Report card vs. Tennessee

South Carolina football defensive back Jalon Kilgore. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports
South Carolina football defensive back Jalon Kilgore. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports /
2 of 3
South Carolina Football
South Carolina football running back Mario Anderson during his 75-yard touchdown run against Tennessee. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports /

South Carolina Football vs. Tennessee:
Grades for the Gamecock offense

C. South Carolina football fans saw Spencer Rattler’s worst game of 2023 against Tennessee. It wasn’t like Rattler was bad, but he wasn’t <em>elite</em> like he has been for most of this season. Much of his difficulty can be traced back to the fact that he was running for his life for most of the game as pass protection was minimal. Rattler threw a pick-6 toward the end of the 1st half and took at least two sacks that were just as much his fault as his line’s. #7 had a good day scrambling, but there were several moments in which he seemed too quick to make the decision to run.. . South Carolina Gamecocks. QUARTERBACK PLAY

B-. The South Carolina running game had a 75-yard touchdown from Mario Anderson. Clearly a bright spot, the large chunk of yards drastically skews the numbers from Saturday, making it seem like a much more successful outing on the ground. Anderson got the start and was pretty good for most of the game. The offensive line didn’t do him many favors, however. DK Joyner continued his struggles, rushing for just one yard on two carries and dropping a key pass that would have extended a drive at a crucial point of the game.. . South Carolina Gamecocks. RUNNING BACKS

C-. For most of Saturday night, South Carolina’s receivers struggled to gain separation from Tennessee’s secondary. The flat was open most of the night, but no Gamecocks had success making tacklers miss after getting the ball. Ahmarean Brown had a nice run after the catch on a screen, and Xavier Legette and Trey Knox had a few nice moments. All-in-all, the effort wasn’t enough from USC’s receivers and tight ends.. . South Carolina Gamecocks. PASS CATCHERS

OFFENSIVE LINE. D. The offensive line in garnet and black has earned its reputation as a poor unit in 2023. A miserable performance against North Carolina was only somewhat better against Georgia and Mississippi State, but Saturday against Tennessee was very North Carolina-esque. The Gamecocks gave up 6 sacks (and it could have been significantly more if not for Rattler’s scrambling), and other than Mario Anderson’s big run, there was not much push in the running game. Tree Babalade had his first bad game, but he was far from alone as every big ugly had bad moments against the Vols.. . South Carolina Gamecocks