Last night, the South Carolina Gamecocks took on the North Carolina Tar Heels to open the 2013 season of College Football. The Gamecocks took the game 27-10 but not before the Tar Heels exposed a weakness in South Carolina’s game. With a no huddle offense whose pace can only be described as blistering, the Tar Heels put on display a lack of athleticism in their opponent’s defense.

Perhaps it’s because I spent the better part of this off season watching the clip from the Outback Bowl where Jadeveon Clowney reacquainted Vincent Smith with the turf while helping himself to the football over and over again. Or maybe I just bought into the All-American and SEC Defensive Player-of-the-Year hype that has been following Clowney since the end of last season. Either way, I saw a different player on the field last night. Clowney had moments when he was dominate, but only every third or forth snap he played. Clowney was limited by the o-line and once I saw him stopped by a tight end. I watched as Clowney seemed to give up only 3 steps into the back field. We also need to mention the periods of time where Clowney was not on the field. Clowney’s performance was inconsistent at best.

This perceived lack of conditioning and effort may have been caused by the heat on the field or because it was the first game of the year or maybe Clowney really did suffer from a stomach virus the previous night as he later stated. For all I know, it might have been part of an elaborate ruse to fool SEC opponents. What I do know is if this is indicative of Clowney’s performance for the rest of the season, any hopes to win the Heisman and be a first round pick will quickly disappear.