Can Georgia contain Clowney?
Examining what makes No. 7 so good, and how Bulldogs can slow him down
In his past two games versus Georgia, South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney has racked up a total of nine tackles for loss, four sacks and one forced fumble. And being that the Gamecocks and Bulldogs are set to square off on Saturday, there is ample reason for Aaron Murray and the good people of Athens, Ga., to be worried about college football's most dominant defensive player.
Yes, I know Clowney has taken a lot of criticism regarding his conditioning and overall play versus North Carolina in Week 1, but I'm not worried that it will carry over against Georgia. As is often the case heading into season-opening games, top players often sit out an occasional preseason scrimmage to prevent injury, which can result in rust heading into Week 1. Also, there were reports that Clowney was battling a stomach bug. Regardless, I expect him to play a little angrier on Saturday following the bad press.
So how can Georgia's offense -- or any offensive unit, for that matter -- contain Clowney? Here's a look at what makes him effective followed by a list of potential solutions to counter his strengths. (Note the use of "potential," as this will be no easy task.)
The first obvious attributes that I notice when I observe Clowney are his impressive size and speed. Simply put, he is a physics problem for opposing offenses. Momentum = mass times velocity, which, in Clowney's case, means that at 6-foot-6 and 274 pounds with sub-4.5 40-yard speed, he is both fast enough to run around and powerful enough to overwhelm a 320-pound offensive tackle.
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