Marcus Satterfield set to leave Gamecocks to join Matt Rhule at Nebraska, reports say

Joshua Boucher/jboucher@thestate.com

South Carolina head coach Shane Beamer is expected to have a major role to fill on his staff.

Offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield is “close” to joining Nebraska head coach Matt Rhule’s staff in Lincoln, per separate reports from ESPN’s Pete Thamel and Chris Low.

“Nebraska is close to hiring South Carolina OC Marcus Satterfield as the school’s new offensive coordinator,” Thamel wrote via Twitter on Monday morning. “South Carolina made a strong push to keep Satterfield, but his ties to Rhule and the opportunity to go to Nebraska won out.”

Low went a step further, reporting on Twitter that he had direct confirmation from Satterfield that “he’s accepted a job to go with Matt Rhule as @HuskerFBNation’s OC.”

The confirmation of a departure — or the hire by Nebraska — would not come from USC’s end, a school spokesman told The State.

The move would come after South Carolina finished the year notching back-to-back Top 10 wins for the first time in program history with victories over No. 5 Tennessee and No. 8 Clemson. The Gamecocks scored 94 points in those wins, largely on the efforts of quarterback Spencer Rattler and the offense.

Recent uptick aside, Satterfield’s future in Columbia was murky. Indications inside the program suggested he may have been on his way out ahead of South Carolina’s offensive explosions against Tennessee and Clemson.

Satterfield was in the midst of an expiring two-year contract that was set to end on Dec. 31. He was also one of just two on-field assistant coaches — along with offensive line coach Greg Adkins — who did not receive raises from the university following last year’s 7-6 campaign.

Under Satterfield’s guidance, South Carolina mustered 21 or less points in six of its eight league games in 2021. It faced halftime deficits of at least 17 points in games against Tennessee, Texas A&M, Georgia and Clemson. The Gamecocks were also shutout by the Tigers for the first time since 1989 in last year’s 30-0 loss.

Head scratching play calls, like a trick-play pass by defensive lineman Jordan Burch on the Tennessee goal line that was intercepted last year, didn’t exactly endear the offensive coordinator to the Gamecocks faithful either.

South Carolina was expected to take a step forward offensively in 2022, but have remained largely inconsistent despite an influx of talent via the transfer portal.

Rattler, who came to Columbia as one of the most sought after quarterback transfers in recent memory, has been up and down this fall. His 11 interceptions are the most among SEC signal-callers averaging at least 15 passes per game. He also threw for less than 250 yards in nine of 12 games heading into the week.

Do-it-all tight end Jaheim Bell’s usage also became a hot-button topic in recent weeks after he played only nine snaps in the loss to Missouri — a game the Gamecocks turned in just 203 yards of total offense.

“He’s one of my favorite players on the team,” Satterfield said recently. “There’s not a morning I don’t walk by him and we hug. I want him to get on the field. I want him to touch the ball a lot.

“Going into the rally mode, he wasn’t in those packages. I should have slowed down, stop, realized, got him on the field and gave him a chance to get some balls. He’s gonna have chances every game, it’s just whether the ball gets to him or not. And sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t. We’re gonna continue to make sure that we put him in opportunities to get the ball, and when he does, it’s special.”

Rhule and Satterfield’s relationship dates back to their time at Western Carolina in 2005. Satterfield also worked on Rhule’s staffs at Temple, Baylor and the Carolina Panthers. The two have remained close in that time.

Beamer hired Satterfield after initially retaining Mike Bobo as South Carolina’s offensive coordinator. Beamer was forced to pivot when Bobo accepted the offensive coordinator job under Bryan Harsin at Auburn. Bobo was fired after just one season on The Plains.

Satterfield and Beamer also go back decades after working together as graduate assistants on Philip Fulmer’s staff at Tennessee in the early 2000s. Satterfield — a Tennessee native — played his college ball at East Tennessee State and spent two years on the staff at UT-Chattanooga before landing on the Tennessee staff.

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