South Carolina looks to gain rhythm against Charlotte

South Carolina quarterback Spencer Rattler (7) throws a pass against Georgia State during the...
South Carolina quarterback Spencer Rattler (7) throws a pass against Georgia State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022, in Columbia, S.C.. (AP Photo/Artie Walker Jr.)(Artie Walker Jr. | AP)
Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 3:05 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC (AP) - South Carolina hopes to get itself back on positive footing when it faces Charlotte of Conference USA at home on Saturday night. The Gamecocks dropped their first two Southeastern Conference games to No. 10 Arkansas and No. 1 Georgia by a combined score of 92-37. Neither side of the ball has played well this season with ranked No. 100 nationally and the defense ranked No. 113. Charlotte will look to beat its first SEC opponent in three tries. The 49ers are 1-7 overall against Power Five programs. The win came at Duke last season.

Charlotte (1-3) at South Carolina (1-2), Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPNU)

Line: South Carolina by 22 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: First meeting.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

A chance for South Carolina to regroup and find some rhythm after losing its first two Southeastern Conference games to Arkansas and Georgia by a combined score of 92-37 the past two weeks. Charlotte of Conference USA looks for its first win over an SEC team in its third try.

KEY MATCHUP

South Carolina QB Spencer Rattler vs. Charlotte pass defense. Rattler has had his ups and downs in his first Gamecock season since transferring from Oklahoma. He’s thrown for 721 yards, but is completing less than 60% of his throws with five interceptions. The 49ers, though, are last in Conference USA, allowing 320 yards passing per game this season. If there’s a team for Rattler and Gamecock receivers to find their footing, this could be it.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Charlotte: WR Grant Dubose leads Conference USA with five TD catches and 314 yards in receptions. His 25 catches rank second in the conference as the dynamic, 6-foot-3 junior has been a key playmaker for the 49ers.

South Carolina: S Nick Emmanwori has been a bright spot for a team ranked 113th nationally in total defense. The freshman leads the Gamecocks with 28 tackles, which is fourth in the SEC. Emmanwori’s play has bolstered a group where five starters were out last week in the Georgia loss and three of those are questionable for Charlotte.

FACTS & FIGURES

The schools are separated by 107 miles down Interstate 77. ... South Carolina is paying $1.4 million to Charlotte to visit Williams-Brice Stadium. ... Charlotte QB Chris Reynolds had his sixth game-winning drive of his career last week in the 42-41 win at Georgia State. ... Charlotte is 1-7 all-time against Power Five teams. The victory came at Duke, 31-28, last season. ... South Carolina is 11-0-1 against teams currently in Conference USA. ... There was not a sack recorded last week in Georgia’s 48-7 win at South Carolina by either team. The last time the Gamecocks were involved in a sack-less contest was in 2014, a 42-35 loss at Auburn.