Clowney's absence, defensive issues overshadow USC win over Kent - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Clowney's absence, defensive issues overshadow USC win over Kentucky

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Days after he had his post-game television show yanked from the air because it was "too negative", Gamecocks head football coach Steve Spurrier was positively...well...positive in his post-game comments following the win over Kentucky.

"We win! We win," he bellowed with a smile as he walked in to the press room. "That's who we are. Might as well write that down."

And so we did write it down.

But there was a 250 pound elephant in the room that assembled journalists wanted to know about. Junior defensive end Jadeveon Clowney sat out this game with bruised ribs after it appeared he would suit up to play earlier in the week.

It was a decision made just moments before the game started, according to the coaches. But it also appears from comments made by the coaching staff that something is wrong in the State of Clowney. 

"I don't want to get into all of that," said Spurrier. "I will just say he told me he couldn't play. He said his ribs hurt, he couldn't run and said, 'I can't play.' I said, 'That's fine. You don't have to play,' and we'll move on."

"If he wants to play, we'll welcome him if he wants to play for the team. If he doesn't want to play, he doesn't have to play. It's as simple as that."

Defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward even said he was totally surprised that his stud defensive end wasn't going to play.

"We went through walkthrough earlier in the day and he said he was hurting, but I thought he was going to play," said Ward.

Despite Clowney's absence, Ward says he didn't think it had any effect on his struggling defense.

"We love JD out there, but we've got to put 11 guys on the field regardless of whether he plays or not," said Ward.

Clowney-chat seemed to overshadow another win for the Gamecocks, but it was also another game with a large lead that South Carolina let slip away too easily.

The Gamecocks started the game quickly, storming out to a 21-0 lead on the backs of quarterback Connor Shaw and running back Mike Davis.

Shaw was efficient this game, going 17-for-20 for 262 yards in the air and a touchdown and 50 yards rushing. It was a remarkable performance considering last Saturday when it seemed he could be out for 2 to 3 weeks after he awkwardly landed on his shoulder.

Davis was equally destructive, rushing for 106 yards and two touchdowns and receiving for 54 yards.

"I couldn't be more proud of our guys on offense," Shaw said. "I have full confidence in the offense. I still think we haven't played the best we can. We'll progress through the season."

Progression is what Spurrier will obviously be looking for this season, but he's pretty happy for now.

"We've got a good offense," said Spurrier. "We should go out there and score a bunch of points if we can get a bunch of possessions."

With the offense clicking and the home crowd rocking, it seemed like South Carolina might put together a complete game at home.

But the defense just couldn't find a way to put Kentucky away, and the Wildcats rallied to 27-21 with just 11:50 minutes left in the 4th quarter.

The lead evaporation has been eerily similar for the past three weeks.

But the games have all ended in remarkably the same fashion: the Gamecocks find a way to get the ball with just a few minutes left in the game and they create sustained, clock-eating drives to finish out.

And that's what happened tonight.

But will the Gamecocks' late-game luck work again next week when they begin their stretch of three-straight road games?

And will Clowney play?

"We'll see," said Ward.

Copyright 2013 WIS. All rights reserved.

  • SEC FootballSEC CoverageMore>>

  • Gators rally, nip Cats 28-27

    Gators rally, nip Cats 28-27

    Saturday, September 23 2017 11:46 PM EDT2017-09-24 03:46:02 GMT
    (Source: WAVE 3 News)(Source: WAVE 3 News)
    LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Freddie Swain caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Luke Del Rio with 43 seconds remaining to cap No. 20 Florida's rally from a 13-point, fourth-quarter deficit that beat Kentucky 28-27 on Saturday night.      The Gators extended their winning streak over the Wildcats to 31 games, the nation's longest streak in FBS, and took early control of the Southeastern Conference's Eastern Division. And it required everything they had after t...More >>
    LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Freddie Swain caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Luke Del Rio with 43 seconds remaining to cap No. 20 Florida's rally from a 13-point, fourth-quarter deficit that beat Kentucky 28-27 on Saturday night.      The Gators extended their winning streak over the Wildcats to 31 games, the nation's longest streak in FBS, and took early control of the Southeastern Conference's Eastern Division. And it required everything they had after t...More >>
  • Kerryon Johnson: 5TDs in return, No. 15 Auburn throttles Missouri 51-14

    Kerryon Johnson: 5TDs in return, No. 15 Auburn throttles Missouri 51-14

    Saturday, September 23 2017 11:18 PM EDT2017-09-24 03:18:05 GMT
    (Source: Auburn Athletics)(Source: Auburn Athletics)

    Kerryon Johnson finished one rushing touchdown shy of Auburn's all-time record for a single game as the No. 15 Tigers didn't let up in it's 51-14 win over Missouri Saturday night.

    More >>

    Kerryon Johnson finished one rushing touchdown shy of Auburn's all-time record for a single game as the No. 15 Tigers didn't let up in it's 51-14 win over Missouri Saturday night.

    More >>
  • South Carolina's late field goal tops Louisiana Tech, 17-16; Allen-Williams out for the season

    South Carolina's late field goal tops Louisiana Tech, 17-16; Allen-Williams out for the season

    Saturday, September 23 2017 7:12 PM EDT2017-09-23 23:12:02 GMT
    The Gamecocks surround kicker Parker White, who says Saturday's game-winning field goal was the first in his career. (Source: WIS)The Gamecocks surround kicker Parker White, who says Saturday's game-winning field goal was the first in his career. (Source: WIS)

    Parker White kicked a 31-yard field goal with four seconds left to give South Carolina a 17-16 win over Louisiana Tech on Saturday.

    More >>

    Parker White kicked a 31-yard field goal with four seconds left to give South Carolina a 17-16 win over Louisiana Tech on Saturday.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly