Is it possible for one player to simultaneously be the best player in college football and be the most overrated player in college football?
If so, Clowney is certainly making a run for such a title.
The expectations for Clowney were so lofty this preseason, it's difficult to imagine any player reaching them. Still, Clowney is so good, every South Carolina opponent schemes around him. But Saturday, we saw Clowney run around, over and through like we rarely have to this point in his career.
Saturday's performance can be summed up in one play. In the first quarter, Missouri's Marcus Murphy ran the ball around the edge, and straight into Clowney. Somewhat surprisingly, Murphy just kept right on running, breaking through a sprawling Clowney and straight into the end zone.
There were also a few other instances of Missouri ball-carriers making it past—or even through—Clowney.
We couldn't help but be struck by the fact that if his name wasn't Jadeveon Clowney, none of these plays would even be talked about. It's because we expect him to be so good that these lapses jump out at us.
Is Clowney one of the best defensive ends in the nation? Sure. Is he as great as we all thought he would be this season? With the rare exceptions of a play here or there, we'd have to say no.