Arms Race: Spencer Rattler, K.J. Jefferson Prepare For South Carolina-Arkansas Battle

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The college football focus this week has been on Alabama traveling to Texas, but I hope folks don’t sleep on the game that will be kicking off at the same time. South Carolina travels to Arkansas and features a can’t-miss quarterback battle: Spencer Rattler vs. K.J. Jefferson.

Do you like physical quarterbacks willing to take the hits, while scrambling 20 yards down the field? This is the game for you. It has serious game of the week potential.

Both Coaches Scouted The Other QB

Arkansas is coming off a nice win over Cincinnati, while South Carolina took care of Georgia State in the second half to seal the victory. All of the hype surrounding both Jefferson and Rattler is well worth the time to tune into this matchup. Gamecocks coach Shane Beamer watched the film on Jefferson, and his takeaways were spot on regarding the mobility and physicality of the Arkansas QB.

“To be that big and people just bounce off of him back there…” Beamer said of Jefferson. “We would have to take one of our defensive ends and make him a quarterback.”

Arkansas quarterback KJ Jefferson stands 6-3 and weighs 242 pounds. (Getty Images)

Standing on the other side of the field will be Rattler, a quarterback who has been through plenty of battles of his own. Making his debut against Georgia State, we saw the Rattler that lit up the Big 12 during his first season at Oklahoma.  He also brings a serious running threat. It’s not easy bringing down Rattler, because of his ability to get outside the pocket. Razorbacks linebacker Bumper Pool and his teammates will have to pay close attention to this weekend.

Arkansas coach Sam Pittman watched Rattler’s first game against Cincinnati live and was impressed with the quarterback’s ability to run the show.

“He plays like a guy that’s played before. Experienced, got a lot of poise,” Pittman said. “You can feel his confidence through the film.”

South Carolina QB Spencer Rattler is 6-1, 215.  (Courtesy of Gamecock Football)

Spencer Rattler Was A Heisman Candidate

During three seasons at Oklahoma, Spencer passed for 4,595 yards and 40 touchdowns, while rushing for 260 yards and nine touchdowns. The big game doesn’t bother him; he’s just a savvy quarterback who will make you regret bringing multiple blitzes. This was the reason why Pittman brought up his ability to make defense pay outside the pocket.

“Their No. 1 set was empty on Saturday. Of course, you have Spencer Rattler, you want to do that,” Pittman said. “Where he’s most dangerous is when he gets out of the pocket. He can throw on the run as accurate as anybody. I think that’s the game plan for them.”


Two quarterbacks who can make you pay down the field with their legs or arm should make folks around the country pay attention. Maybe when Alabama is up 24-7 at halftime against Texas, people will flip the channel to the arms race in Fayetteville.

Offensive fireworks are on the horizon in this one.

When asked about the sense of urgency within his team, Shane Beamer pointed out that SEC play is starting, and his players better be ready for the atmosphere that lies ahead.

“I think automatically, there is going to be a heightened sense of urgency. There better be,” Beamer said. “We are in SEC play here pretty quick. Going on the road against a nationally ranked opponent to open up SEC play, you better have that urgency for sure.”

Head coach Shane Beamer of the South Carolina Gamecocks (Getty Images)

As we watch both quarterbacks battle it out, this could turn into a continuous highlight reel for both. The atmosphere will be rowdy. Beamer has tried to prepare his guys for the first their first road test of the season.

“When you are going on the road in the SEC, it is different. Let’s be real and our guys know it,” Beamer said.

Bring on the Jefferson-Rattler battle. This is the type of game you don’t want to miss.

Written by Trey Wallace

Trey Wallace is the host of The Trey Wallace Podcast that focuses on a mixture of sports, culture, entertainment along with his perspective on everything from College Football to the College World Series.

Wallace has been covering college sports for 15 years, starting off while attending the University of South Alabama. He’s broken some of the biggest college stories including the Florida football “Credit Card Scandal” along with the firing of Jim McElwin and Kevin Sumlin. Wallace also broke one of the biggest stories in college football in 2020 around the NCAA investigation into recruiting violations against Tennessee football head coach Jeremy Pruitt.

Wallace also appears on radio across seven different states breaking down that latest news in college sports.

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