South Carolina QB Spencer Rattler gave Georgia defense credit for keeping him contained in 48-7 UGA win over the Gamecocks.
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Spencer Rattler pays respect to Georgia after 48-7 loss: ‘That’s probably the best defense in the country’

COLUMBIA — South Carolina quarterback Spencer Rattler didn’t want to press, but the Georgia defense — and the scoreboard — dictated he take chances.

Rattler gave credit where it was due after the No. 1-ranked Bulldogs scored a 48-7 win over his Gamecocks at Williams-Brice Stadium on Saturday.

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“That’s probably the best defense in the country, and we put ourselves in some bad situations,” Rattler said after South Carolina dropped to 1-2 with the loss.

“They did a good job checking a lot of stuff against our looks, and they just played harder than us.”

Rattler was 13-of-25 passing for 118 yards with two interceptions before Coach Shane Beamer pulled him from the lopsided game to get back up Luke Doty some work.

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The Georgia players said their gameplan was to “rattle” Rattler and prevent the talented South Carolina quarterback from escaping the pass rush and making plays.

“I think they just had a good scheme versus us, they were coached up well,” said Rattler, a redshirt junior who was making his 20th career start. “They had a good idea of what we were trying to do and they exploited it.”

Rattler shared how the Bulldogs made impressive plays on both of his interceptions, the first one returned 42 yards after the Gamecocks had driven to the UGA 28 while trailing just 7-0.

“We had a play-action roll out right, a throwback to JuJu (McDowell) up the seam, and I tried to throw a back shoulder and the DB (Malaki Starks) made a good play,” Rattler said. “He swiped by him and made a good play on the ball. I could have given that another second to develop.”

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The second interception, picked off by Georgia safety Dan Jackson, was a deep ball over the middle intended for Jaheim Bell, who had caught a 46-yard pass in the first quarter.

“The second one, we’re down by I don’t know how many (38-0) and I’m just throwing it up to Jaheim, and we had a chance to make that play and they made a good play on it,” Rattler said.

“We needed some shots at that time, we just couldn’t run the ball and check it down all the time, we had to take some shots.”

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Rattler said that’s not the sort of approach he wants to take, but the Gamecocks had to push the issue to try to make something happen against a Georgia defense that had not given up a touchdown through the first two games.

“When you’re down, you don’t want to press,” Rattler said. “But at some point in a game like this … you have to press when you’re down 38 or 40 points, and you have zero s points on the board.

“You have to throw shots to your playmakers and let them go try to make a play.”

The Gamecocks scored with 53 seconds left against the Georgia backups when Doty hit tight end Traevon Kenion in the back of the end zone.

Rattler was not sacked, but he was under pressure all day, the Bulldogs recording 9 QB hurries.

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