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

Sione's Flow

January 1st, 2013 at 9:54 PM ^

They did show some brief matchups of Lewan and Clowney and they did mention that Lewan was holding his own and keeping Clowney in check.  But then he had the one big hit and immediately everyone forgot how up to that point he was a nonfactor.

robmorren2

January 1st, 2013 at 9:57 PM ^

Props to Schofield as well. He did a great job while he was matched up with Clowney when Lewan went out. BUT ... I'm not sure what the issue was early in the game, but they were getting a ton of pressure on the right side.

HarBooYa

January 1st, 2013 at 11:44 PM ^

Deserves a ton of credit in keeping the defense at bay. Could have been much worse if he dipped into the Alabama play book. Happy he kept it diverse. Felt he called a solid game and execution on some simple passing plays (and several big plays d gave up of course) killed us.

robmorren2

January 2nd, 2013 at 12:12 AM ^

Everybody will remember the Clowney hit on Smith, but what about the Smith hit on Clowney? Smith went full out 3 Ninjas "Light up the eyes Rocky" on him. Smith didn't need help getting off the field like Clowney did when Smith gave him a good old helmet to the dong. Vince got in a swing or two in the fight, lol.

BlueinLansing

January 2nd, 2013 at 12:45 AM ^

full South Carolina games this fall and Clowney was pretty much as he was all year.  He was a factor most plays either in busting one up or the offense staying away from him.  I thought did an excellent job on him compared to most tackels in the SEC games I watched.  But he has strangely long stretches where he does nothing, sits on the sidelines looking tired.

Then the 4th Q comes and he makes 2 or 3 plays you've never F'ing seen before in your life and you suddenly think you've just seen the best damn defensive linemen to ever play  the game.

 

 

robmorren2

January 2nd, 2013 at 2:14 AM ^

That's a pretty good summation of Clowney. He reminds me of Julius Peppers. He doesn't have a high motor like Jared Allen types, and he doesn't have speed moves like Dwight Freeny types. However, he has the ability to make plays that no other players can, like Peppers. Guys like that draw so much attention from offensive gameplans, that their numbers don't reflect their true impact on the game (even when the numbers are good). Like Gruden said, Clowney might have 25 sacks, but he's probably forced 25+ holding calls as well. Not to mention his ability to stretch out run plays, options, and screens with his length and ability to move laterally.

MgoBadFish

January 2nd, 2013 at 7:59 AM ^

I just got home from work, watched the game on dvr, saw the hit by Clowney and thought one thing. WTF Borges? Clowney is stupid athletic and talented and Borges decided part of the game plan was to allow him to be unblocked mulitple times. When Lewan was assingned to block the guy across from him, that guy was blocked 99% of the time. And when you can say Clowney is just that guy being blocked, you block him every play. Once again our OC was the reason we lost the game. /end rant/continue drinking.

MgoBadFish

January 2nd, 2013 at 8:14 AM ^

I actually think Borges called a good game, and who ever called me an "expert"? But to let Clowney be unblocked is just a bad idea. He is too athletic to get much of anything done when he can run anywhere be wants. This loss is on that play and Clowney being able to run free happened more than that one play. It was part of the game plan and it was a poor part of the game plan.

panthera leo fututio

January 2nd, 2013 at 8:25 AM ^

Giving Clowney a free run on handoffs was not, surprisingly enough, part of Borges's game plan. As described illuminatingly in the Borges thread, the Clowney hit resulted from a miscommunication between Lewan and Kwiatkowski -- Kwiatkowski thought he and Lewan were going to be doubling Clowney, Lewan blocked down instead, and Clowney took advantage of the mix-up to decapitate Smith, exacting revenge for the earlier dong headbutt. Lewan actually describes this error in a post-game interview (again illuminatingly linked to in the Borges thread).

MgoBadFish

January 3rd, 2013 at 1:26 AM ^

Thanks for the recap. My game plan comment was a knee jerk reaction to seeing Clowney running unblocked a few times during the game and the fact that one huge play lost the game. Lewan killed it this game, this whole year for that matter. I really believe that Borges will be a damn good OC when he has players he knows what to do with. Its just that he didn't know how to get the best out of Denard, which I really can't blame him for, Denard is a once in a lifetime type of QB. I have said many times that I will reserve my judgement on Borges until Shane Morris' second year starting.

MGoStrength

January 2nd, 2013 at 10:59 AM ^

Nothing against Vince Smith, he took that hit like a champ considering he was outweighed by  almost 70 pounds and a foot of height and didn't show a bit for wear from it but...I can't wait until Clowney tries that against Green.  Here's to looking forward to the day we roll out a power front combo like LTT/Magnuson/Kalis/Kulger/Dawson/Fox/Bosch and push guys like Clowney 5 yards back off the ball.

Mgodiscgolfer

January 2nd, 2013 at 11:29 AM ^

the MVP before he supposedly earned it. I am sure there are several Michigan defenders who were more deserving than him, at least statistically wise." South Carolina Deserves to have it and they do" WTF. They won it with 11 sec. on the clock. Congradulations you beat a good but not great UM team. For me, next year can't get here fast enough I know the loss of Denard is sad but the promise and potential of new recruits is really exciting. Bring on spring practice and as always GO BLUE!.