South Carolina Football: Steve Spurrier Wants More Jadeveon Clowney on Defense

Adam Garrett@lifeofagamecockAnalyst ISeptember 22, 2011

COLUMBIA, SC - SEPTEMBER 17:  Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney #7 of  the South Carolina Gamecocks chases quarterback Kriss Proctor #2 of Navy Midshipmen September 17, 2011 at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier has got a fever.

And the only prescription is more Jadeveon Clowney.

Coach Spurrier said during his "Carolina Calls" radio call-in show Thursday night that he thinks Clowney should play at least 80 percent of the plays on defense. He mentions this after Clowney only logged 31 snaps this past weekend against Navy and only 31 against Georgia the week before. Clowney did open the year against East Carolina playing 63 snaps.

So why the drop-off?

That's the strange part.

It's clear that Clowney is effective for the Gamecocks when he's in the game. He's South Carolina's leader in sacks this year with 2.0 sacks, both of which came against Georgia.

One of those sacks forced an Aaron Murray fumble and enabled Melvin Ingram to pick it up and return it for a touchdown to give South Carolina a 10-point lead with just a little more than three minutes left in the game.

Clowney was also a big part of the Gamecocks' turnaround in the run-defense against Navy. He was constantly in the backfield using his great speed to track down the Midshipmen.

This weekend will give Clowney a chance to make an impact early and often against Vanderbilt, especially if Spurrier wants him on the field more. Vanderbilt has given up 10 sacks already through three games, so the opportunity is there. Clowney and Devin Taylor form a top duo that is almost unblockable.

The Gamecocks may only have two sacks this season, but that number is bound to go up, and it could start this weekend.

And Clowney will probably be the one to get it started for the Gamecocks.

I think Spurrier wouldn't have it any other way.