Cloninger Soundoff: Moving Clowney not the answer

Posted by DAVID CLONINGER on September 10, 2013 

South Carolina's defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (7) tries to get around a block by Georgia's offensive tackle Kenarious Gates (72.) The USC Gamecocks play the Georgia Bulldogs, Saturday afternoon at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga.

KIM KIM FOSTER-TOBIN — kkfoster@thestate.com

There’s been a lot of discussion on what to do with Jadeveon Clowney, with the big All-American facing double teams and frustration with teams running away from him.

Opponents aren’t stupid. They know that he changes games by affecting their game plans, and they aren’t going to give him a chance to make those game-changing plays.

Fans are hollering for Clowney to be moved around, and Clowney said that he is lobbying his coaches to do something where he can make plays.

Switching Clowney to the other end spot is just going to make offenses run the other way. Switching him in and out at nose tackle can get him closer to the ball-carrier on an edge play, but he still has to get past his own men and the other opponents to get there.

That leaves playing him at nose tackle in a three-man front, which changes USC’s alignment from 4-2-5 to 3-4-4, or 3-3-5, or 3-5-3 — something with which it’s not familiar. Plus, a three-man front means there are that many more players to get past in order to hit the quarterback or running back.

The best thing to do is continue to talk to the other guys — Kelcy Quarles, J.T. Surratt, the Dixon brothers, Darius English and most of all, Chaz Sutton — to do their jobs and play to their ability. So far, it’s been hit-and-miss from a unit that was supposed to be the deepest and most talented part of the team.

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