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Clowney in the crosshairs

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Forget Waldo. Florida coach Will Muschamp is more concerned with finding Jadeveon Clowney.

The Gators better know exactly where South Carolina's 6-foot-6, 256-pound sophomore defensive end is before every snap, Muschamp said, because it'll be a long afternoon at Florida Field on Saturday if they don't.

"He can ruin your day," Muschamp said. "You've got to be able to account for him in the rush and in the run game. You've got to have your antenna up to know where he is."

Generally, that's been in the opponent's backfield. Clowney has 14.5 sacks in 20 career games, including 6.5 this season, which puts him second in the SEC behind Texas A&M's Damontre Moore and makes him a major problem for the Gators on Saturday.

Florida's offensive line has three starters dealing with injuries -- LT Xavier Nixon (upper body), LG James Wilson (eye) and C Jonotthan Harrison (right arm) -- and while Muschamp said earlier this week all three should play against South Carolina, he has downplayed the severity of injuries before. That means the Gators could end up going with three reserves, including true freshman D.J. Humphries, at left tackle.

That's not an ideal situation against the Gamecocks, who are fourth nationally and lead the SEC in sacks (26). And especially not against Clowney, who can rush from different spots on the defensive line.

"He's got a great initial quickness off the ball, so you are always on your heels a little bit at the tackle position being able to block him," Muschamp said. "They move him around and do some different things with him. They stand him up and move him inside, so you can't always be certain for a matchup and know what you are going to get and be able to chip him and do different things because they do a nice job of putting him in different spots."

The Gators plan to help out whoever draws Clowney because he can't be handled one-on-one, offensive coordinator Brent Pease said. They'll double-team him or chip him with a back or a tight end.

"He's athleticism galore," Pease said. "We have to make sure he doesn't hit the quarterback and we play with great effort. You can't cut block him, because he jumps over blocks. We have to be physical on the guy."

UF has to be careful to become overly focused on Clowney, though, because of DE Devin Taylor. The 6-8, 267-pound senior has only 1.5 sacks this season, but has 17.0 in his career.

Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel, however, isn't worrying too much about Clowney or Taylor. He's concentrating on his reads and timing, which hasn't been as crisp the past two games.

"If you're a quarterback and you're looking at the rush, you're doing wrong," Driskel said. "You've just got to trust that the line and the backs are going to be able to pick up the blitz and the rush."

If they don't, it'll be easy to find Clowney. Standing over Driskel.