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Clowney should have monster game against Florida

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Twenty-seven tackles and two sacks.

The numbers for Jadeveon Clowney are scary this season, but not in a good way.

Injuries, fatigue and double-teams aside, college football’s most talked about defensive player has underperformed as a junior at South Carolina after months of preseason buzz transformed the 6-foot-6, 275-pound pass rusher into a Heisman possibility. His lack of production won’t hurt his draft stock as Clowney’s projected as a Top 5 selection by most services, but he still has work to do to leave a lasting legacy in Columbia as a physically-gifted player everyone thought would obliterate Eric Norwood’s career sack record of 29.

The hype’s been too much for Clowney who has struggled throughout his collegiate career with over pursuing ballcarriers and snap-to-snap effort. He showed flashes of the dominant force that made him so popular on highlight reels as sophomore on Oct. 19 in Knoxville, but has since been a non-factor with six solo tackles in the Gamecocks’ last two games.

Clowney’s last sack this season came against Vanderbilt in Week 3, a sack-and-strip that staved off an upset.

Seven sacks from tying the school’s all-time mark, he’ll get an opportunity at drawing closer Saturday night when Florida visits Williams-Brice Stadium. The Gators limp in with four consecutive losses against a program that could set a school record with its 16th straight home victory.

With a depleted unit protecting Tyler Murphy, who may not even play because of an injury, Florida’s given up nine sacks over the last two games. The lack of a running game has forced the Gators out of their comfort zone offensively, and as a result, it has put Will Muschamp’s future in jeopardy.

This could be Clowney’s signature game, and he, along with Kelcy Quarles, should terrorize the Gators. The last four weeks, one defender who played against Florida won weekly defensive awards: Danielle Hunter (LSU) Michael Sam (MIZ), Garrison Smith (UGA), Caleb Azubike (VU).

Florida (4-5) needs to win two of its final three games to become bowl eligible. After Saturday’s game at South Carolina, the Gators host Georgia Southern and unbeaten second-ranked Florida State.

Clowney will play a role in determining that.

Photo Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports





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Comments 6

  1. maybe, but doesn’t Muschamp understand how to counter a defensive strong point based on his own defensive success. I get that Florida is not scoring a ton of points against anyone.

  2. So far, Clowney is playing like a decoy and Quarrels is the stud.
    Gonna be a great game.

  3. I feel alone in my assessment of Cloney. I obviously dont have the professional knowledge to predict his success, but I just don’t see a shining star. He’s fast off of the snap and physically agressive. Beyond that, I believe his mind and attitude has affected his play because of “the freak” media hype. I didnt like his earlier decision to not play against doctors blessings and he just simply becomes MIA game after game. Personally, I like Quarls. I believe its his defense not Clowney’s. The gamecocks could have a much greater impact right now on a BCS title when you factor Clowney’s play against Georgia and Tennessee. I’m just not on the Clowney train guys. This article and many this season have had high expectations without results. We need him to worry less about being healthy for the draft and more about his commitment to winning.

    • Sorry mispelling…..”Quarrels”. Blame my ability to spell the way I pronounce it (and inability to spell the way it should be spelled)

    • I agree. Whether it’s the hype, not having Devin Taylor on the other end, or trying to keep himself injury-free, Clowney has been above average this season, but not elite. At this point, he may come into the NFL and destroy OTs or he might be a huge bust. Right now, however, I don’t expect him to have a big game for the rest of the season. That is, unless SCar makes it into the SECCG. He might be motivated to play hard on a huge stage, then.

  4. Kelcy Quarles is having the year that everyone thought Clowney would have, in respect to his talent level. With pro coaching Clowney’s upside is very high. He has the pure athletic talent to be a beast at the next level. Whether he’ll be a superstar or not at the next level is less clear with this year’s slump.