South Carolina freshman defensive end Jadeveon Clowney briefly quieted the Georgia crowd with a punishing sack on quarterback Aaron Murray in the second quarter of the teams' Saturday matchup. As you watch the above video, you can see that Clowney was able to burst through the Georgia offensive line practically untouched on his way to an absolute leveling of Murray.
Take a look at the play one more time. You can actually see the sack was almost accomplished by junior DeVonte Holloman. A better effort from Holloman and this play would look entirely different. While you do not want to take credit away from Jadeveon Clowney for the great hit he put on Murray, it is clear that Georgia's offensive line is looking pretty porous today.
The freshman Clowney was considered by many to be the best football recruit in the country in 2010, with 162 tackles, 29.5 sacks, and 11 forced fumbles in his senior year in high school. This play shows that his high school success may translate into greatness at the college level and possibly beyond.
Last year's Gamecocks defense was sporadic in its effectiveness, giving up fewer than 10 points to three opponents (Georgia, Vanderbilt and Clemson), but giving up over 40 points twice (Arkansas, Auburn). This on-again, off-again defense led South Carolina to a rough 9-5 record—albeit in the SEC, arguably the toughest conference in the NCAA. In order to turn the page on the hard times they went through last year, South Carolina is going to need stellar performances from players like Clowney on its defense.