Just as our society does with every situation, regardless if it is sports or not, people were overreacting to the play of Jadeveon Clowney last night in his season opener versus the North Carolina Tar Heels.
The South Carolina defensive end is coming into the 2013 football season with an unrealistic hype around him, bigger than any hype that players like Tim Tebow or Johnny Manziel could generate.
We all know the drill on Clowney. He made quite possibly one of the greatest hits in the history of football; he’s a genetic freak of nature and he just gets to the quarterback. All the reports from camp were how much better of shape he was in and how much time he had put in the film room and on the practice field, fine-tuning his game.
Clowney was not able to put up any outlandish numbers that were expected of him and at times, he appeared to be a little slow coming off the line of scrimmage. He would later admit after the game to having a stomach virus and playing anyway.
Although he didn’t have the box-score numbers to justify his game, if you were really watching, you could see he was effective every single play he was on the field. The Tar Heels had to base their entire game plan around him and limit themselves offensively, which stopped them from being able to score points.
There was almost know down the field action because head coach Larry Fedora didn’t want to risk dropping his quarterback back. So, the team ran little quick-hitters and thus couldn’t move the ball down field, which resulted in a loss.
So for everyone freaking out about Clowney, they might want to settle down because this is how every team will play him. Teams won’t allow him the opportunity to beat them, they will instead play with fear.