Found November 24, 2012 on Fox Sports Carolinas:
Clemson, S.C. As South Carolina defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward passed his best player in the cramped press area underneath Clemson's Memorial Stadium, he admitted that he had lied. Before the game, Ward had told his standout defensive end Jadeveon Clowney that there were big shoes to fill in Saturday night's rivalry game against the in-state Tigers, bigger surely than any collegiate defender could fill against one of the nation's most lethal offenses. He told him that Melvin Ingram, a star on last season's South Carolina team, had once sacked Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd six times. That was Clowney's designated task. As they exchanged postgame grins, Ward warned him the secret was out. "They are all talking about how I lied to you about the sacks. They know," Ward called to his defensive end. Of course, Ingram did not ever notch six sacks against Boyd. He did not have the 4.5 quarterback takedowns like Clowney finished with in the Gamecocks' 27-17 road win, their fourth-consecutive victory over the Tigers. Not that it mattered to Clowney. He probably thought he could beat Ingram's imaginary mark anyways. "I already knew you were lying," rebutted the 6-foot-6 sophomore as he passed his coach in the doorway. "I already knew that, anyways." Much has been made about this season's wide-open Heisman race many safely assuming it will come down to a freshman (Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel) and a linebacker (Notre Dame's Manti Te'o) but on nights like Saturday in South Carolina, there is little doubt who the best player in the country truly is. And if you haven't seen him at his best, you're missing out. Dominant just doesn't quite cut it. Clowney shattered the Gamecocks' single-season sacks mark against Clemson, tallying 4.5 to bring his season total to 13. For his efforts, he helped to stall Boyd and the fourth-ranked scoring offense just enough to allow his backup quarterback (Dylan Thompson) to build a lead and his coach (Steve Spurrier) set the school's all-time wins mark. The Tigers averaged more than 44 points per game coming heading into the night. They walked away with two first quarter touchdowns and then a field goal the rest of the way, committing two turnovers and looking utterly helpless as the time ticked away. "We stood (Clowney) up and moved him around a little bit, hopefully to get a one-on-one. But yeah, you can't block Jadeveon one-on-one," Spurrier said. "So we got him one more year and then we will shake his hand and thank him for everything he's done for South Carolina." "It's crazy," Thompson added about watching Clowney from the sidelines. "I guess the most comparable guy I watch play to him is the guy from the 49ers, Aldon Smith. It's almost like guys just don't have a chance. That guy, he's just a freak. There's nobody you can simulate in practice if you're the other team, and he shows it on the field. When the lights come on, it's his time." Thompson was the surprising storyline to develop, filling in last minute for injured starting quarterback Connor Shaw to throw for 310 yards on 23-of-41 passing and three touchdowns. If anything, he was efficient. If he needed seven yards for a first down, he got the Gamecocks eight. If the team was backed up on third-and-19, he ran for 20 yards to keep a scoring drive alive. Of course, a few pass interference calls never hurt, either. That was Thompson's night, right up to when he read the media the Bible verse (Psalms 100:3) that motivated him throughout Rivalry Week. But as efficient as Spurrier's offense was without Shaw and superstar running back Marcus Lattimore, it was the defensive effort that gave it time to develop. Most teams scoring 10 first-half points versus Clemson are blown out by offensive coordinator Chad Morris' high-octane attack. That quick-strike offense worked early, hitting early on a 43-yard pass to DeAndre Hopkins, who tied the ACC record with his ninth-consecutive game with a touchdown reception, before the scrambling ways of Boyd diminished in effectiveness. Boyd finished with just 183 yards on 11-of-24 passing, his worst outing of the season. "We didn't wanna be in a shootout," Thompson said. "I think they've proven all year they can score points, but at the same time I think our defense is the best in the country. I honestly do, and we just have full confidence in them." Clowney will not enter the Heisman picture injuries and double teams have limited his effectiveness at times but make no mistake: If the NFL Draft were held on Nov. 25, 2012, and sophomores were draft-eligible, Jadeveon Clowney's name would be the first one out of Roger Goodell's mouth. There are other names swirling around for the celebrated defensive awards and honors, but the description "man amongst boys" is most appropriate when used around Columbia, S.C. See, Lorenzo Ward was mistaken. The defensive coordinator put together an spot-on scheme to eliminate the Tigers' attack, but there was no need to lie "I don't lie so much as mislead," Ward corrected with a laugh. to his best player. The motivation was already there for the Rock Hill, S.C., native. He was finally 100 percent, and he was ready to prove it. Clemson was enough. Now, South Carolina's seniors finish undefeated to their in-state rivals. As the minutes disappeared off the clock Saturday night, while Thompson was busy hugging his coaches and offensive teammates, Clowney was still relentlessly chasing Boyd, getting his last sack on the game's final play before being swarmed by South Carolina fans rushing the field. They hung all over his imposing frame. They just wanted a piece of him. He's that good; he means that much. From his starting point at midfield, it took him nearly five minutes to wave through the sea of garnet to reach the locker room. After setting the sacks record a record he knew he was misinformed about just hours earlier he didn't seem to mind the adulation. This was Clemson after all, four years in a row. "I dont know how it feels to lose to Clemson," Clowney said before he walked off to the bus, "Im not going to know how it feels, either."
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Clowney breaks South Carolina sack record

South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney broke the single-season sack record against Clemson on Saturday.

Clowney sacks two SEC awards

The Southeastern Conference has selected South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney as its defensive lineman of the week and its co-defensive player of the week.

VIDEO: Clowney and Holloman post Clemson

South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and safety DeVonte Holloman speak after South Carolina's 27-17 win over Clemson.

Gamecocks defeat Clemson 27-17

South Carolina continues its win streak over the Tigers with a 27-17 win at Clemson. Dylan Thompson and Jadeveon Clowney stole the show in tonight's big victory for the Gamecocks.

No. 11 South Carolina dominates with defense

South Carolina's stout defense keeps beating up Clemson's high-powered offense, and it has tipped the scales of the bitter rivalry in favor of the No. 11 Gamecocks. The No. 15 Tigers ran 23 fewer plays, gained 207 fewer yards and scored 28 fewer points than they averaged all year in Saturday's 27-17 loss to South Carolina. The Gamecocks have done similar things to the...

South Carolina 27, Clemson 17: The Good, Bad & Ugly

The Good: Gamecocks Rising to the OccasionThe Tigers may have had the upper hand early, with Tajh Boyd accounting for 2 TDs in the first quarter, but it was all South Carolina after that. Jadeveon Clowney almost single-handedly shut down the Clemson offense with 4.5 sacks, but it was backup QB Dylan Thompson who stole the show. Thompson only got the starting nod on Wednesday, due...

South Carolina Gamecocks at Clemson Tigers: Tigers Grab Deserved Bid to BCS?

http://www.accsecblog.com/2009/11/clemson-south-carolina-preview-and.html Follow @Dan Vasta and like Gridiron Grit on Facebook The ‘Palmeto Bowl” or simply put as the ”’The Battle of the Palmetto State”  (Hardee’s Trophy) is one underrated rivalry in college football that should earn a few more set of eyes these days. Both teams are legit this season, but more importantly...

South Carolina wins 4th straight over Clemson

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) -- Backup quarterback Dylan Thompson threw for three touchdowns, Jadeveon Clowney had 4 1-2 sacks and No. 13 South Carolina won its fourth straight over 12th-ranked Clemson 27-17 Saturday as Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier became the school's victories leader. Thompson got the call for the Gamecocks (10-2) because starter Connor Shaw sprained his left foot...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.