South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney has recognized that opponents are neutralizing his impact with their game plans, and the Gamecocks All-American has some suggestions on ways to mix it up defensively.
"I told the coaches you got to put me somewhere else -- in the middle if you want to -- somewhere I can make some plays [to] help my team get in position to win," Clowney told reporters after the game. "But [Georgia] took me right out of the game."
Clowney told reporters that it was "very frustrating" to be limited -- suggesting that the Bulldogs ran plays away from Clowney's side of the field -- in the 41-30 loss to Georgia
"It's hard out there trying to chase from the backside, and they just took me right out of the game," Clowney said. "They want to move me around -- that's up to them.
"I'm going to keep playing my assignments. I set the edge most of the night, [but] the ball went away from me on the backside chasing. That's just how the game went."
Identifying strengths and weaknesses is a normal piece of any game-planning. Georgia, like North Carolina the week before, had certain calls in place to run a play away from Clowney. When a once-in-a-generation defensive end is preventing you from winning a game, limiting his impact is a pretty good idea. It's not surprising or alarming.
The hype surrounding Clowney, considered the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, heading into the 2013 season has -- fairly or unfairly -- become criticism for a slow start in the Gamecocks' first two games. On Saturday night, coach Steve Spurrier was more concerned about the state of the defense as a unit.
"Those three-and-out days, I'm hoping they come back some time before the season's over," Spurrier said. "That would be helpful for our team. We've got to be a little more creative. We can't just sit there and never disguise and say, 'Come on.'"
Spurrier also told reporters that he would give defensive coordinator "some suggestions" on ways to be creative defensively. South Carolina hosts Vanderbilt on Sept. 14. The Commodores defeated Austin Peay 38-3 on Saturday.