Week one of the college football season kicks off this weekend and in the midst of all the excitement, there’s one game that stands out – the North Carolina vs. South Carolina showdown. What’s really getting fans, and myself, excited is the QB battle between UNC’s Drake Maye and SC’s Spencer Rattler.
When North Carolina takes on South Carolina, it’s not just about their close geography. Fans on both sides bring an extra dose of excitement to the game, turning it into something truly electric. With the spotlight now on the quarterbacks, this matchup takes on a whole new dimension.
Drake Maye from North Carolina and Spencer Rattler from South Carolina are both college football stars in their own right, and their performance in this game could seriously shake up their teams’ entire season.
Drake Maye, a sophomore sensation, already showed why scouts are so excited by him in his freshman year. Last season, he wowed everyone when he racked up an impressive 4,321 passing yards and threw for 38 touchdowns with only 7 interceptions, boasting a completion rate of 66%, according to Sports Reference. Also, he almost rushed for nearly 700 yards and 7 touchdowns to boot.
What makes Maye so enticing for NFL scouts is that he has all of the tools that you look for in a franchise quarterback. He’s 6’4’’, 220 lbs, and runs an alleged 4.60 in the forty-yard dash. On top of that, he has an absolute cannon for an arm. He and USC’s Caleb Williams will be battling it out to see who will be the top pick in next year’s draft.
Over on the South Carolina side, we’ve got Spencer Rattler – a senior quarterback who has a redemption chance with the Gamecocks. Last season was Rattler’s first season with South Carolina, after spending the previous three years with the Oklahoma Sooners. The emergence of then Sooner’s Quarterback Caleb Williams, forced Rattler’s hand to transfer.
Last season, Rattler threw for 3,026 passing yards, completing 66.2% of his throws and passing for 18 touchdowns. However, he did manage to give away 12 interceptions during the 13 games that he started. He played better than his stats would indicate, and with another offseason in the Gamecocks program, he should play significantly better this year.
Rattler isn’t the physical specimen that Drake Maye is. He is only 6’1”, 200lbs, and runs somewhere in the 4.80-second range in the 40-yard dash. However, he does meet all of the thresholds that NFL teams usually require for their quarterback.
The strength of Rattler’s game is his mobility outside of the pocket. While he is not necessarily a runner, he is very agile and he has a knack for recognizing pressure early and extending plays. He can make every throw on the football field and has shown a lot of potential as a passer over his tenure in college football. He has a very quick release and overall, very impressive arm talent.
Rattler does have two years of eligibility left, but many think that he will declare for the 2024 NFL draft after this season. The former 5-star recruit, according to 247sports and Rivals.com, needs to have a giant season this year, if he has any aspirations of being a mid-round quarterback in the draft.
It is rare that you get a college matchup with two quarterbacks of this stature, especially in the first week of the college football season. They will go toe-to-toe this Saturday, September 2nd at 7:30 Eastern.
With the North Carolina vs. South Carolina game just around the corner, the excitement among draft fans is on full display. The quarterback duel between Drake Maye and Spencer Rattler adds a whole new level of intensity to this rivalry. Thanks to these two stud quarterbacks, this is a must-watch game this weekend.