Spencer Rattler
Spencer Rattler will be back in Garnet & Black in 2023 (Chris Gillespie) 

The football team will have their top passing combo back in 2023.  Receiver Antwane “Juice” Wells and quarterback Spencer Rattler announced on consecutive days that they will return for another season with the Gamecocks.  That’s certainly welcomed news for head coach Shane Beamer and new offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains.  Wells caught 68 passes for 928 yards and six touchdowns this past season.  

Rattler, after a slow start that saw him throw seven interceptions to five touchdown passes in his first five games, turned things around over the final two months of the season with a 14 to five touchdown to interception ratio.

Rattler finished the season completing over 66% of his passes for 3012 yards, 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He also rushed for three touchdowns.

For his career at Oklahoma and USC, Rattler has thrown for 7607 yards, 58 touchdowns and 24 interceptions while completing 68.4% of his attempts.

The Gamecocks were ranked 23rd in the final AP ranking of the 2022 season.  That was a demotion of three positions from the poll prior to the Gator Bowl loss to Notre Dame.  It’s the first top 25 finish for the Gamecocks since placing 4th in the last ranking for the 2013 season.  

Quite the rollercoaster week for the men’s basketball team.  Following a 43-point loss at home to Tennessee last Saturday, the Gamecocks went on the road Tuesday night and defeated Kentucky 71-68, just the third time USC won at Rupp Arena.  The Gamecocks never trailed.  Meechie Johnson hit six three-pointers on his way to a career high 26 points. 

So how did the Gamecocks follow up that victory?  By returning home and suffering a 41-point loss to Texas A&M.  The Gamecocks trailed 50-18 at the half and the only questions was would they set a record for worst less at the Colonial Life Arena for the second straight Saturday.  They came up three points short of doing that.  Freshman Zachary Davis, starting for the injured Hayden Brown, led USC with 13 points. 

The Gamecocks are now 8-9 overall and 1-3 in the SEC and will host Ole Miss Tuesday night.  The Rebels are off to a 0-5 start in league play. 

The perfect season for the top-ranked women’s team continued during the week.  Thursday the Gamecocks blew out Kentucky in Lexington 95-66.  USC went on a 16-0 run in the second quarter to take control of the game. Aliyah Boston led the way with 21 points and 10 rebounds.  With her one offensive rebound she became the all-time leader in that category for the program.

Earlier in the week Dawn Staley’s team had to fight off a tough Mississippi State squad in Starkville 58-51.  The Gamecocks trailed by eight points early but used a 20-7 second quarter to take the lead and were able to stave off the Bulldogs in the second half.  Zia Cooke led the Gamecocks with 16 points.  They are now 17-0 overall and 5-0 in the SEC and will host Missouri Saturday afternoon. 

The swimming and diving teams were swept by Georgia Saturday in Columbia. The 24th ranked women lost to the 9th ranked Bulldogs 181-119.  And the men were defeated 189.5-109.5.  The USC divers did sweep in their portion of the competition. 

The track and field team claimed 17 victories Saturday in their home opener for the indoor season.  The men claimed nine of the wins including Evan Miller in the 400m with a 45.91 time for the fastest indoor 400 this season.  

The women’s tennis team earned three singles wins and two in doubles Saturday at the Carolina Kickoff.  Gracie Mulville, Ayana Akli and Misa Malkin picked up the singles wins.  Akli also won her Friday match, and the Gamecocks also picked up two more doubles wins on the opening day of the event which will conclude on Sunday.  

The men’s team was picked fourth in the SEC coaches pre-season ranking. Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky were picked ahead of the Gamecocks. 

Last Sunday the Gamecocks wrapped up the Miami Spring Invite with four singles wins and two doubles. The singles victories went to Connor Thomson, Raphael Lambling, James Story and Jake Beasley.  

Gamecock soccer defender Jyllissa Harris was the 10th pick in round two and the 22nd pick overall by Houston Thursday night in the National Women’s Soccer League Draft. She’s the fourth Gamecock to be taken in the NWSL Draft. 

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