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South Carolina slams door on Tar Heels, Clowney on receiving end of cheap shot

North Carolina v South Carolina Getty Images

One of the more attractive games in the early slate of games on college football’s opening night never quite matched the hype, but South Carolina will take it anyway. The Gamecocks opened the year with a 27-10 victory over North Carolina in a game that featured a lightning delay of one hour and 44 minutes.

South Carolina opened up a 17-0 lead in the first quarter and held off any attempt at a rally by North Carolina. The Gamecocks  never saw their lead dip below double digits after building it in the first quarter. The game itself more or less went according to plan. South Carolina was able to handle the up-tempo style of Larry Fedora and the Tar Heels and were able to flex some muscle along the way. Gamecocks star Jadeveon Clowney may not have had a highlight-filled game, but he was the center of one of the more notable moments of the game, and not in a good way.

Clowney was taken down from behind when North Carolina offensive tackle Kiaro Holts took what can only be seen as a cheep shot on an unsuspecting Clowney. Closing in on UNC quarterback Bryn Renner, Clowney had clearly let up on his pursuit as Renner got off a pass.  No longer a threat to Renner, Clowney instead was looking downfield to watch the rest of the play develop, when suddenly Kiaro dove right in to the back of Clowney’s right leg.

Clowney did not have to leave the game, but this is a play that will likely be cause for review from the ACC offices. The animated GIF of the incident, seen via SB Nation, sure seems fairly intentional.

The win was a good start for the Gamecocks of course. The offense put together 400 yards of offense and avoided turning the football over. Much of the production came on the ground with Mike Davis stepping in to the leading rusher role nicely with 115 yards and a touchdown. Next up for South Carolina will be the key early season SEC East bout with Georgia. The game could be a pivotal one of course with the winner taking an early lead in what could be a heated SEC East race.

North Carolina probably should not be too upset with their performance, but the game should serve as a good barometer for how much work needs to be done to reach the next level as a program. North Carolina will get a chance to rebound next week when they host Middle Tennessee.

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24 Responses to “South Carolina slams door on Tar Heels, Clowney on receiving end of cheap shot”
  1. alligatorsnapper says: Aug 29, 2013 11:46 PM

    Good Gamecock victory and no turnovers. Great beginning to what may be a great year. USC seems to be priming up for UGA, so that may be quite a contest.

    What coaches and fans do not want to see–Clowney hurt and he sure could have been hurt with the Holt blindside hit. The ACC should take a look at that.

    I don’t think this was a real test of the SEC, but it was a good preparation and a good first game for South Carolina.

    Kevin: You sure are busy tonight!

  2. jimbo75025 says: Aug 29, 2013 11:46 PM

    Looks like Clowney was lucky in that the hit basically pushed his feet forward so he just fell on his butt. Had his foot gotten caught up, that could have been ugly.

  3. goodknave says: Aug 29, 2013 11:54 PM

    North Carolina was getting 13 points and according to the play-by-play, got stopped on the one-yard line with a minute left.

    How close was it, and why did they run on 4th and goal from the 8?

  4. rsmeans says: Aug 30, 2013 12:01 AM

    South Carolina is an excellent football team and could win the SEC East. Clowney has always been overrated and has several shortcomings such as not being able to wrap offense players up but look for one time showcase hits. Second his matter of endurance and 3 is his inability to learn the playbook. He may be a first pick first round but that is a big mistake for whoever takes him.

  5. Kevin McGuire says: Aug 30, 2013 12:12 AM

    Had to be busy, it’s opening night!

  6. bringingthepain says: Aug 30, 2013 12:12 AM

    Really? Clowney had what 1 tackle? He was out of shape and looked horrible. He went full go about 20% of the time. If he was going full go, he wouldn’t have go hurt. If you seriously watch the film and think he is the best around, you are just a homer. Like ESPN. Announcers talked about how great he was, but the left Tackle held him at bay the entire night.

  7. parkcityute says: Aug 30, 2013 12:17 AM


    You are new here? I saw a lot of stories you wrote tonight. Is John taking the night off? Are you Ben’s replacement? If so, looks like you are getting right to work!

  8. bringingthepain says: Aug 30, 2013 12:21 AM

    Sorry, 4 tackles. my bad.

  9. cmdrsmooth says: Aug 30, 2013 1:02 AM


  10. thebigtim2012 says: Aug 30, 2013 2:07 AM

    Out of shape? It was 90 degrees with extremely high humidity every player was sucking wind. Not exactly a night to be running around. Here in columbia it really hasn’t been that hot or humid except for these last few days. If your gonna rip into the kid your gonna have to find something else

  11. mungman69 says: Aug 30, 2013 6:40 AM

    Yes, the game time temperature was 89* and the dew point was 76* making the heat index at 100*. Way, way to hot to play a good game. And yes, a lot of players on both teams were sucking wind.

  12. brad9000 says: Aug 30, 2013 6:57 AM

    My friends and I were amazed when we saw a play where UNC literally triple teamed clowney. Yes put three players on him. Still don’t think he changes a game? Someone find the stat on how many times UNC went to clowneys side of the field. I felt like they ran away from him all night. 2 of the tackles I saw he broke through then sprinted across the entire line of scrimmage and made the play from behind.

  13. raiderufan says: Aug 30, 2013 7:29 AM

    Clowney is no doubt an elite talent.

    That said, hopefully this kills all the foolish heisman talk. He disrupted so many plays last night it wasn’t even funny but no stat exists for that. A full night of playing ball and the stat line is 4 tackles. If you didn’t watch the whole game it looks like he barely showed up. And he’s going to have a lot of games like that this year.

    And that late hit should result in a multi game suspension. That was crazy blatant.

  14. oaklandfanattic says: Aug 30, 2013 8:10 AM

    if spurriee knows anything he”ll start Dylan i see connor shaw costing him a few games because of his one read and run mentality

  15. dkhhuey says: Aug 30, 2013 8:30 AM

    Thank god ESPN had a camera on Clowney to capture every single breath he took and notified us constantly every time his ass hit the bench. Even better, they send some bimbo sideline reporter in to ask The Ole Ball Coach whether resting Clowney was part of his game plan… If I didn’t know any better, I’d think the other 10 people on the defense and everybody else sucked and it was only Clowney that was responsible for winning the game!

  16. chumthumper says: Aug 30, 2013 9:01 AM

    The ESPN TV broadcast team of Davis, Palmer and Pollack was pathetic. They kept talking over each other and the viewer could not understand a thing they were saying. You only need two in the booth; one of those ex-jocks needs to stay in the studio.

  17. raiderufan says: Aug 30, 2013 9:06 AM

    Pollack has no business being in the booth. Eventually I think he’ll be pretty good at it but right now he just stumbles all over himself the whole time.

  18. meatchickenstillsucks says: Aug 30, 2013 9:33 AM

    Clowney is a CLOWN. Big , dumb and lazy.

    Braxton Miller has nothing to worry about in the Heisman race.

  19. tobeexact says: Aug 30, 2013 10:32 AM

    I dont get all the hype about clowney at all.
    If your a senior player with all his playing time then you should be in the best shape,for the most part he was left one on one against an offensive tackle and couldnt win the battle. He is a defensive end who smack talked before the game and couldnt back it up,if he is suppose to be so great he would have gotten to the qb.
    I dont want to here about he got double teamed here or there ,he is a defensive end not like he plays the middle of the d line. All you have to do is look at devon still who was on penn state last year. He played defensive tackle got double and triple teamed in the trenches and still beat it.
    Clowney makes a few great plays a game and thats it,if he is as domanant as every claims he would be putting up unreal sack numbers and in the backfield almost every play.
    Actually if not for a few blown assignments on nc defense , south carolina really didnt look that good at all for a team that returns alot of starters, even there o line was not that dominant in the second half. They may be big but they are slow and not very athletic. They better get alot better come the sec schedule or they will be losing alot of games.

  20. thebigtim2012 says: Aug 30, 2013 10:47 AM

    Tobeexsact your comment is beyond ignorant. First if all clowney is not a senior so your very first statement is inaccurate. Second as a earlier commenter acknowledged clowney was very disruptive to the offense all game even with the fact that nc almost never ran to his side of the field. Third, just a little bit of education for you a defensive ends job is not just about sacking the quarterback you do understand that right? Sometimes they are in coverage in the flats other times they are anticipating a run and therefore do not try to immediately busy thru the line or they run the risk of taking a bad angle and or over pursuing and missing the play completely. If you want to trash the kid that’s fine but the least you could do is rip him over things that are accurate. As far as him trash talking before the game I think the score board answers that. But your probably a clemson fan anyway that explains the ignorance.

  21. islandgechee says: Aug 30, 2013 10:58 AM

    It was the first game of the season a heat index of 100 and Clowney was coming off a stomach virus that he was getting treatment for the night before ….and he still showed up… there exist no stat line to accurately display the true impact he had on the game…not only did he have to face double and triple teams they ran plays away from his side most of the time…UNC could only run a bunch of bootlegs and run delays just so they could account for him … Some people don’t understand just because you didn’t kill it in the stat line as a DEFENSIVE LINEMAN you all of a sudden suck and have no impact unless you see multiple sacks and stops …. Dude is legit that’s all to it…those who hire fire and coach these players know what he can mean to a defense..haters (Jesse Palmer) profess your ignorance when you utter dribble like a new born baby incoherent and ultimately useless

  22. jets12 says: Aug 30, 2013 12:02 PM

    tobeexact you may be the dumbest poster on the planet. In the future you should stick to commenting on things you know something about. Whatever that might be.

  23. gamecock45 says: Sep 1, 2013 5:14 PM

    The heat index on the field was 109 degrees. Clowney along with many other players and fans were affected by the heat. Some athletes have a much harder time staying hydrated and regulating their body temperature.

  24. tientzu1 says: Sep 5, 2013 3:11 PM

    12 mile road march @ Ft. Campbell, KY w/100 heat index…heat cramps and make it in 3 hours 30 minutes. same 12 miles in November with 30-35 degree temps…no cramps, no soreness and 2 hour 50 minutes (Air Assault School standard)…heat matters…

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