Muench's Trenches: Clowney's tough task
October, 18, 2013
By Steve Muench | ESPN Insider
AP Photo/Stephen MortonSouth Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney will have his hands full this week against Tennessee.
One of the matchups I focused on last weekend was Missouri DE Kony Ealy working against Georgia LOT Kenarious Gates, and I came away disappointed by Ealy’s performance. On the positive side, he flashed good speed-to-power and the ability to bend coming off the edge. He also showed good hands when he kicked inside to rush the passer.
On the downside, he didn’t counter well when he didn’t beat Gates with his first move, and he’s still not playing with enough of an edge. Watching two tight ends drive him downfield while he provided little resistance stood out; he failed to finish too often, missing two to three tackles because he left his feet too early. Furthermore Michael Sam, who lines up at the opposite end, is outperforming Ealy. While he doesn’t have the same kind of size potential as Ealy, he’s showing good balance and active hands in addition to a better motor.
One other player worth mentioning is South Florida DE Aaron Lynch who turned in a strong performance against an overmatched Connecticut offensive line. Lynch’s 44-yard fumble return for a touchdown proved to be the difference in the Bulls’ 13-10 win. He was in the right spot at the right time, but don’t mistake that for luck. Lynch split the right tackle and running back to get into the backfield. In fact, he was disruptive throughout despite drawing plenty of attention from the Huskies, who committed three blockers to him at times.