The Clowney-Lewan battle

Submitted by MGlobules on January 1st, 2013 at 9:02 PM

Article at sportsline about the game's big matchup, notes that it shaped up as the blockbuster battle that everyone expected:

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/blog/rob-rang/21483627/clowney-vs-le….

Suggests that Clowney gave Lewan problems, but that Michigan's All American lineman largely held his own. Lewan was not responsible for Clowney on the big play that nailed Vince Smith in the backfield and resulted in a fumble.

EDIT: After the game, according to the News, Lewan sought Clowney out. "I went up to him after the game and told him, 'You're one of the best defensive ends I've ever played against.' He said, 'You're the best tackle I've ever played against.' So that's a great compliment to have, but none of this matters because we didn't win the damn game."

Comments

go16blue

January 1st, 2013 at 9:08 PM ^

People (SC fans especially) were extremely confident about Clowney, saying he would get multiple sacks. Not only did he not get a single sack, I don't remember him ever getting to the QB. Sure he gave Lewan some problems but if that's all you can say for arguably the best defensive player in college football thats a very decisive win for the offensive lineman.

B1G_Fan

January 2nd, 2013 at 6:16 AM ^

 Michigan ran over 60 offensive plays and Clowney finished with 4 Tackles 2 TFL and 0 sacks. Lewan and the offensive coaches did an excellent job making him a non factor. Great players like Clowney are hard to shut down for an entire game and he did make 2 plays. Taylor has nothing left to prove and i'd love to see him come back for his senior year but I won't blame him when he moves on

harryddunn

January 2nd, 2013 at 12:11 PM ^

One minor quibble...

"Lewan and the offensive coaches did an excellent job making him a non factor."

My only real major complaint with the coaches or coordinators yesterday is that we actually had a play in our playbook that assigned a walk-on TE the responsibility of blocking JaDeveon MF Clowney. I still can't figure out how that play wasn't completely scrapped for this game.

Sopwith

January 1st, 2013 at 9:07 PM ^

and probably earned a couple of million extra bucks over the course of the afternoon.  

On the optimistic side, Schofield came in and did a pretty decent job for a couple of series.  Is the thinking he goes to LT next year and Magnusson or another RS Frosh goes to RT, or something else?

Sopwith

January 1st, 2013 at 9:24 PM ^

will do a mashup of his plays vs. Clowney when it's time to negotiate the contract.

Would have said they should throw his ownage of Gholston on the tape as well, but the dude has fallen so far off the scale, it doesn't really prove anything anymore.

RakeFight

January 1st, 2013 at 9:39 PM ^

Agree.  I get that Clowney's a great player and his tackle for loss/forced fumble/fumble recovery was a huge play, but he was pretty quiet the rest of the game with only 3 other tackles.  Seems like the guy who scored 3 TDs and couldn't be stopped on offense (Sanders) should be the MVP.

the unsilent m…

January 1st, 2013 at 9:38 PM ^

Spurrier's non-mention of Clowney at the end of the game was very telling; he mentioned several other players as well. Media hype gave this one to Clowney. With the exception of essentially one play (that we handed to him), he was a non-factor.

I Like Winners

January 5th, 2013 at 10:37 PM ^

They used to say the same thing about Jim Brown of the Cleveland Brown: "Except for that 60 yard run and the 32 yard carry, we pretty much held him in check."

The tackle-fumble-pick-up-the-ball-with-my -left-hand play was, well, you have to give the guy some credit.

Zone Left

January 1st, 2013 at 9:14 PM ^

Magnusson doesn't look like a strong side tackle in Borges's offense, but maybe another nine months makes him viable. Ideally, none of the Freshmen would get pressed into service at left tackle next season, so the job is probably Schofield's if he plays reasonably well.

Frito Bandito

January 1st, 2013 at 11:19 PM ^

In all honesty I don't think Bryant will be a factor. He was so out of shape and such a big project his freshman year and he got hurt from the get go this year. Bars or the walk on that's been getting such praise (name?) will be right there with him if not ahead. It should be noted that I'm obviously not in the loop and I have no idea what I'm talking about.

WolvinLA2

January 2nd, 2013 at 12:10 AM ^

Yes, Bryant came in overweight, but was down to 318 to start this fall before his injury.  And his injury was one that should be just fine for spring practice, so I don't think that will be much of an issue going forward. Bryant is bigger and better than most of the guards on our team, so although it's entirely possible that someone beats him out, he's still probably the favorite to get the non-Kalis OG spot.

And you're thinking of Brzynski, who has done well (and went in today when Lewan went out).  Also, Graham Glasgow is another walk-on interior sort who could crack the line-up, and it has been reported that him and Miller are neck and neck for  back-up OC snaps.  If Miller wins the job at center, I could see Glasgow being the back-up at a few different OL spots.  He's certainly got the size - at 6'6" 305, he's one of our biggest OL as a redshirt frosh.

WolvinLA2

January 2nd, 2013 at 12:40 AM ^

He'll be two years removed from that though.  When he showed up this past fall, he was down 25 or so pounds and reportedly in much better shape.  Then he broke his leg, but that doesn't have a huge recovery time and he'll have 9 months to drop whatever bad weight he put back on.  But the reason Bryant was rated as highly as he was had to do with how athletic he is for his size.  

WolvinLA2

January 2nd, 2013 at 12:04 AM ^

When you say Braden is bigger at the moment, you mean that Braden was bigger when they showed up to camp in August (when roster weights are measured).  They are the same height, and Braden came in 23 pounds heavier.  Magnuson isn't exactly small, at 285 he was 11 pounds lighter than Barnum and 15 pounds lighter than Schofield.  After a full year of S&C,  Magnuson could be every bit of 300, and at the very least, the weight difference between him and Braden won't be the determining factor.  

DealerCamel

January 1st, 2013 at 9:10 PM ^

It was good, yes, but of course the first play we take Lewan off of guarding Clowney, the man goes and kills Vincent Smith which earned him MVP honors and will probably be replayed incessantly on ESPN.  Lewan-Clowney matchup of the ages?  Check.  Clowney with the game-changer?  Also check.

DealerCamel

January 1st, 2013 at 9:26 PM ^

Look at the timing, though.  Eight minutes left in the fourth quarter, Michigan's ball, threatening to put together a long drive, possibly score, and give the ball back to USC with much less room for error.  They needed a big defensive play, and they got one pretty emphatically. 

An Angelo's Addict

January 1st, 2013 at 9:10 PM ^

It seemed very much like a draw to me, both played very well and both improved their draft stock.

Also, how Manti T'eo was voted as the best defender in college football over Clowney is absurd, this guy would be dominating the NFL right now

clarkiefromcanada

January 1st, 2013 at 9:55 PM ^

Clowney is a good player, very good, at the collegiate level. That said, don't kid yourself that he'd be dominating at the NFL level at this point.

FWIW, if Taylor Lewan could hold him to a draw (or probably end up in plus numbers against him) I don't suspect that Jake Long and Joe Thomas are losing much sleep worrying about the guy.

He might be great at the next level but it is a hell of a jump.