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Jadeveon Clowney expressed frustration over his role in South Carolina's struggling defense following Saturday's loss to Georgia, hinting that the Gamecocks' coaches should find more creative ways to use him.
"Very frustrating," the star defensive end told reporters. "I told the coaches you got to put me somewhere else -- in the middle if you want to -- somewhere I can make some plays [to] help my team get in position to win. But [Georgia] took me right out of the game."
The reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Year and a consensus favorite for the No. 1 overall pick in next year's NFL draft, Clowney recorded three tackles and one sack in Saturday's 41-30 loss at Georgia.
It was the second consecutive lackluster performance for Clowney, who did not record a sack in South Carolina's season-opening victory over North Carolina.
Clowney, who had a school-record 13 sacks last season, said it will be difficult to make an impact if opposing offenses continue to run plays away from him.
"It's hard out there trying to chase from the backside, and they just took me right out of the game," Clowney said. "They want to move me around -- that's up to them.
"I'm going to keep playing my assignments. I set the edge most of the night, [but] the ball went away from me on the backside chasing. That's just how the game went."
|Jadeveon Clowney has gotten off to a slow start this season, recording only one sack in South Carolina's first two games.|
Georgia had little trouble moving the ball against South Carolina's highly touted defense Saturday, racking up 538 yards in a game which included two Gamecocks coaches arguing with each other on the sideline early in the third quarter. They had to be pulled apart by another assistant.
South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier echoed Clowney's sentiments, saying that the defensive schemes need to be "more creative."
"Those three-and-out days, I'm hoping they come back some time before the season's over," Spurrier said. "That would be helpful for our team. We've got to be a little more creative. We can't just sit there and never disguise and say, 'Come on.'"
Spurrier indicated that South Carolina's defense might have faced unrealistic expectations this season and also said he planned on offering "some suggestions" to defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward.
"I look out there and I see all those either redshirt freshmen or second-year guys and I'm starting to wonder if we were expecting a little bit much out of all those guys," Spurrier said. "But it is a freshmen-laden defense out there, and they're going to take their lumps, I guess.
"But we've got to be creative. We're going to change our defense a little bit. We're not going to just stand there like we did today. I'll give Coach Ward some suggestions."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.