South Carolina: Defensive Line Key to Gamecocks' Success

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South Carolina: Defensive Line Key to Gamecocks' Success
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

There has been a lot of discussion revolving around the South Carolina football team and their rise to No. 3 in the polls in lieu of a 35-7 thrashing of previously fifth-ranked Georgia.

Some say it has been the addition of standout running back Marcus Lattimore that has been the biggest factor to their unprecedented rise to the elite.

Others have given consistent quarterback play by Connor Shaw the credit for being the biggest difference between previous teams and this one.

Fans and pundits alike have been calling head coach Steve Spurrier the savior of a team plagued by mediocrity for much of its history.

All of these factors have played significant roles in South Carolina’s new-found success, but the overarching factor that all can agree on is that this team is propelled by its defense.

Especially the defensive line.

It’s easy to attribute South Carolina’s success to the addition of "man-child" Jadaveon Clowney after he spent last Saturday night powering through, leap-frogging and just basically bullying any would-be blockers in his path.

The truth is, South Carolina’s success, dating back to at least 2006, is thanks in large part to the play of dominant defensive linemen.

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