Gamecocks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney made headlines by calling out Clemson’s All-ACC quarterback Tahj Boyd, claiming that he was scared of him on the football field.
He told reporters: “I can tell Tajh Boyd is scared back there. He ain’t no sitting duck, but you can see in his eyes that he’s scared of our D-linemen.”
That’s a pretty impressive opening salvo for the 2013 college football season.
Clowney wasn’t finished, however. He later said, “We know that coming into the game that we have him shook already. We get a couple hits on him and it changes the whole game. He’s scared every time we play them. I know he’s probably listening to this right now, but I’m just telling the truth, man.”
Oh, he’s listening alright. And if the 4.5-sack performance Clowney had against the Tigers last year wasn’t terrifying enough, you can bet Boyd’s seen the hit Clowney put on Michigan running back Vincent Smith in the Outback Bowl last year. In fact, we’ve all seen it dozens of times, and it never gets old.
Clowney later went on to say that Georgia‘s Aaron Murray was afraid of him as well, but the shots at Boyd grabbed the headlines.
Boyd’s head coach Dabo Swinney came to his defense when he was made aware of the quotes, telling local reporters that Boyd wasn’t afraid of anybody.
Perhaps, Swinney is telling the truth, or perhaps he’s trying to convince himself that Clowney and the Gamecocks aren’t in their heads. South Carolina has won four in a row in this heated series and with Clowney on the field in November, that streak could easily extend to five.
A word of advice for Boyd: Don’t fire back at Clowney at the upcoming ACC media days.
Everyone saw what he did to Smith … and he wasn’t even mad at him.
B.L. is an ACC Football writer for Rant Sports and can be followed on Twitter @coachlip.