SEC Fanbase Drums Up Conspiracy Theory About Former Staff Member After Season Opening Loss

A view of Bank of America Stadium before a game between South Carolina and North Carolina.

Getty Image

The South Carolina fans have drummed up a conspiracy theory as to why its team didn’t play well offensively in its season opener. The Gamecocks fell to border rival North Carolina in Week 1, 31-17.

A large part of that loss came due to an offensive line that allowed nine sacks of quarterback Spencer Rattler. Fans believe they know why the Tar Heels were so dominant on Saturday night.

Freddie Kitchens, a former NFL head coach, was an analyst on the South Carolina staff in 2022. Many credited him for simplifying the offensive gameplan towards the end of the season which helped lead to back-to-back wins over top 10 foes Tennessee and Clemson.

Now, though, he’s coaching tight ends and coordinating the run game with the Tar Heels and Gamecock fans think he gave his new team some insight on the offense.

South Carolina struggled to move the ball consistently against a North Carolina defense that lived in the backfield. Gamecock running backs mustered just 22 yards on 17 carries, and Spencer Rattler was sacked nine times. With that sack yardage added in, the offense went backwards in the run game with -2 total yards.

After the loss, many speculated that Coach Kitchens tipped UNC off to South Carolina’s offensive line tendencies.

On Thursday, Kitchens was asked about the conspiracy theory created by those Gamecock fans. He brushed the claims off, but not necessarily with a definitive “No.”

“I would say this,” Kitchens started. “That’s not unique to any other team. If we were to get something, it wouldn’t be because I was there. We’re not sitting there stealing signals like they are in baseball. If we get something, it’s because [Kaimon] Rucker and the rest of the defensive line notices something during the game. You’re giving me a little bit too much credit, I think.”

Innocent enough up until his last half-statement.

“We could definitely tell the, well, yeah, I’ll leave it at that.”

We won’t get the true answer it seems, but one thing is for sure. South Carolina fans will go to the grave wearing those tin foil hats after the season opening loss.