UNC Football: Prepare for the Gamecocks; Not Just Jadeveon Clowney


This pre-season has been full of headlines for the North Carolina Tar Heels. Not so much for football as basketball, but nonetheless we’ve been part of the talk. For much of the summer it has been about how Larry Fedora is preparing his team to play against one of the best teams in the country to kick off the 2013 season: Steve Spurrier’s South Carolina Gamecocks.

Jul 16, 2013; Hoover, AL, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier talks with the media during the 2013 SEC football media days at the Hyatt Regency. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Actually, let me correct that last sentence. For much of the summer it has been about how Larry Fedora is preparing his team to play against arguably the best player in college football: Jadeveon Clowney.

Why are we so focused on just one individual player? Why are we forgetting the other talent that Spurrier has? Does one massive hit in a bowl game truly mean it will happen against UNC too?

Clowney, in my opinion just like many others, is the best player in college football overall heading into this season. However, he’s not the only reason Spurrier’s Gamecocks are ranked No. 7 in the USA Today Pre-Season poll. This is a team that has talent in every position on the grid iron.

Connor Shaw…sure he’s not the greatest we’ve ever seen, but he’s a key attribute to their offense. I’d be willing to bet we see a new and improved Shaw this year. He has been a rather efficient passer, but has also added the element of a dual-threat offensive for Spurrier to use.

With Marcus Lattimore out of the picture, Spurrier’s running game relies on the star of the Gamecock’s spring game: Mike Davis. With little playing time last season, Davis still grabbed 252 yards and two touchdowns in his fifty-two carries he had. Knowing he will be their starter this year and some more playing time in the Spring and then Summer Camp, don’t be too surprised he breaks out and makes some noise.

Have you forgotten about South Carolina’s big offensive line? Have you forgotten about the talented they have on their defensive line (other than Clowney)?

Victor Hampton knows how to play in the secondary very well and won’t make it easy for Bryn Renner to throw deep. He’s got some help from his secondary teammates that will not only learn from him, but have already shown some of their potential.

So, from here on out, can we focus on the entire South Carolina Gamecocks team and not just Jadeveon Clowney? He’s a excellent player, but this team has a ton of talent around him and it’s not a one man show. South Carolina is No. 7 for a reason and it’s not just because of Clowney. All eyes need to be on the entire team and the focus should be on how is Fedora preparing them to beat the No. 7 team in the country!

I get that he’s a key player to focus on, and he should be. However, the big story should be how a team just outside of the top-25 polls is preparing to play the no. 7 team (not just one player). I just think most of the media has the priorities and focus on a big part of a whole when it should be on the whole.