COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) South Carolina quarterback Spencer Ratter completed 25 of 27 passes for 345 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another TD to lead the Gamecocks to a 47-21 win over Furman on Saturday night.

Ratter, who returned to South Carolina (1-1) after an up-and-down 2022, is reminding people why he was a Heisman contender at Oklahoma before imploding, being benched and transferring.

Rattler hit long bombs, short slants and throws where he had to patiently find a third or fourth choice. He's averaging 348 yards passing in his past five games after throwing for just 198 yards a game in his first 10 outings for the Gamecocks.

Rattler said it's all about trust. He trusts his receivers to bail him out when his throws aren't just right and he trusts new offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains to give him the best chance to thrive.

“We put in the work this offseason. So we expected to have success on the field,” Ratter said.

Perhaps most important, Ratter was not sacked Saturday a week after North Carolina sacked him nine times.

“He’s a special talent. He’s an elite talent. You saw that tonight,” South Carolina coach Shane Beamer said.

There were still some concerns for South Carolina against the Football Championship Subdivision Paladins (1-1). The Gamecocks ran for just less than 3 yards a play behind an inexperienced and banged up offensive line. Both their two-point attempts failed.

Furman, ranked sixth in FCS, had a couple of long touchdown drives. Tyler Huff was 14-of-24 passing for 129 yards, while Joshua Harris caught six passes for 73 yards.

When South Carolina needed something, Rattler and Xavier Legette delivered. The game turned late in the second quarter when Furman punted with 23 seconds left and the Gamecocks up 20-14 after already scoring a TD once in the final minute.

Rattler only needed 20 seconds to drive the Gamecocks 75 yards for a touchdown, the big play a 53-yard strike to Legette, who caught six passes for 118 yards.

“What a drive by Spencer - awareness of the clock,” Beamer said. "That was huge for us.”


South Carolina's backups got some work too. Freshman LaNorris Sellers completed all four of his passes for 86 yards and two touchdowns for the Gamecocks, including a 50-yard pin-point TD to fellow freshman Tyshawn Russell.

Getting his highly-touted freshmen making big plays was almost as important to Beamer as Rattler's continued quality play, Beamer said.

Beamer said Norris was giddy with his play and his coach was too.

"I thought he looked pretty dang good. He was awesome," Beamer said.


Furman: The Paladins take $500,000 back to Greenville. The Huff-to-Harris passing combination proved it can work even against the likely best team on Furman's schedule.

South Carolina: Just getting a win was critical for a South Carolina team who lost its opener to North Carolina and still has No. 1 Georgia and No. 9 Tennessee later in September with Mississippi State in between.


Furman heads to Kennesaw State next Saturday for its final non-conference game before eight in a row in the Southern Conference.

South Carolina heads to No. 1 Georgia next Saturday in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams. The Gamecocks have lost seven of their last eight against the Bulldogs. “Respect to Furman, but we knew we had to get it right before the next game,” Ratter said.


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