South Carolina Football Offseason Autopsy: Part 1, Grading the offense

South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports /
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South Carolina Football
South Carolina football quarterback Spencer Rattler had about as good of a season as one could hope for in 2023 considering all of the issues around him on offense. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports /

South Carolina Football Offseason Autopsy:
Grading the Quarterback Play

South Carolina Gamecocks. QUARTERBACK PLAY. A-. Spencer Rattler had a great showing in 2023. There is nothing more that South Carolina football fans could have expected out of #7 this season considering how poor the offensive line play was, how little the running game helped out the passing game, and how many injuries affected the offense around him. Rattler put up a top-5 quarterback season in program history despite all the issues. LaNorris Sellers, in very limited action, showed enough athleticism in the run game and arm strength to give fans hope for the future. Overall, it wasn’t a perfect quarterbacking season, but it’s hard to imagine a realistic scenario in which it could have been much better.. Offense

2023 wasn’t a good season in Gamecock Land, but it would have been an unmitigated disaster if it weren’t for Spencer Michael Rattler. In year 2 of the Rattler era in Columbia, the offense was completely on his shoulders outside of the few times in which the offensive line provided running back Mario Anderson with some running room.

Spencer Rattler is the most talented quarterback ever to play for the South Carolina football program, and his play this season ensured that he is remembered as one of the greatest to ever do it, as well. Similarly to how Anthony Wright is remembered as a great quarterback on a bad offense, Rattler put himself in the Gamecock record books despite a disastrous offensive situation.

#7 is now #5 in career passing yards in Carolina history and his 2023 campaign finished with the 3rd-most single-season passing yards. Had the Gamecocks made a bowl game, he might have found himself in the top spot. He also set a program record for the most career 350-yard passing performances and career completion percentage. He accomplished all of this despite playing just two years in garnet and black.

South Carolina football fans have played a lot of the “what if” game with Rattler’s career. “What if Spencer Rattler had a good offensive line,” “What if Spencer Rattler played for four seasons in Columbia,” and “What if Spencer Rattler could have been the quarterback on [insert previous year’s team here]” were all common hypotheticals asked throughout this season.

There’s very little chance that Rattler will return to the Gamecocks in 2024, but he does have one more year of potential eligibility. Almost guaranteed to be taken in the top half of the 2024 NFL Draft, Rattler and top target Xavier Legette have been projected as high as the 1st round of some mock drafts.

In the few snaps that Rattler didn’t take at quarterback this season, DK Joyner had some quality goal line touches out of the wildcat, and 4-star freshman LaNorris Sellers got some valuable reps that showed the Gamecock offense could be in capable hands if he wins the starting position next year.