Jadeveon Clowney was unambiguous about his aspirations for 2013. In Tuesday’s Outback Bowl, the South Carolina defensive end got the year started right.
A misplaced then mis-measured spot on a Michigan fake punt, fourth down conversion attempt brought a livid Steve Spurrier from the Gamecock sidelines. His pleads were for naught, as Michigan was awarded the first down.
But the Big East officials did something far worse — at least, worse if you’re Wolverine running back Vincent Smith. They made Clowney angry. You wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.
Per SB Nation:
Clowney’s hit of Smith and the fumble it forced changed the tide of the Outback Bowl. Michigan dominated the third quarter, and the drive those Big East officials extended threatened of putting the Wolverines ahead a touchdown-and-two-point conversion. The Gamecock offense parlayed the ensuing possession into a touchdown and the lead.
Though Michigan would briefly retake the lead, the possession reinvigorated a stagnant South Carolina offense. Dylan Thompson threw the game-winning strike after taking over for Connor Shaw the next time the Gamecock offense took the field. Indeed, SC fed off the electricity Clowney generated with that hit.
His standout performance today against a likely top 10 NFL Draft pick, Taylor Lewan, only elevates the bar further for expectations on Clowney’s third and almost assuredly final college season.