About the time Lorenzo Ward and Steve Spurrier were predicting Jadeveon Clowney will play tomorrow against Arkansas, Razorbacks coach Bret Bielema was addressing the issue.
“If he starts, then we know where our first play is,” Bielema said Thursday evening in his final meeting with reporters in Arkansas.
Interesting. Does that mean the Hogs plan to run at Clowney to see how he’s feeling or run away from him like many opponents have chosen to do?
“Depending on what you want to do,” Bielema said.
My guess is run right at Clowney. Bielema strikes me as that kind of guy, and he’s got a 3-3 team right now that he probably thinks needs to stand up to a challenge. Few better challenges than telling them to go take on one of college football’s most feared defenders.
Let’s remember that Clowney missed a week of conditioning and was still, he said, in a good bit of pain on Tuesday of this week. It’s probably pretty sound strategy to see how his ribs are feeling from the start Saturday.
From a South Carolina perspective, the Gamecocks have to be ready for anything from Clowney. If he can’t play, South Carolina can’t afford to let that be an emotional letdown right before kickoff. If he can play but can’t play long, the same holds true. However it plays out, it looks like all eyes will once again be on No. 7.
Around the SEC:
I could argue that the first actual SEC football game of the season will be played at 3:30 p.m. Saturday when LSU and Florida meet. These are the teams that slugged their way to a 14-6 Gators win last year, and hopefully they’ll have another slugfest to restore my faith in defensive football. The Tigers are expecting a physical game to be sure.
Georgia’s Ray Drew is one of the most interesting characters in the SEC. He is a former five-star recruit who ate himself out of the outside linebacker spot and has never really lived up to the massive hype surrounding him. However, he’s starting to play better this season, and he’s still terribly entertaining off the field, where he is a licensed minister.
Here’s the most important story of the day as AL.com’s Jon Soloman talks to Dr. Ann McKee, who was at the center of PBS’ “League of Denial” documentary about the NFL’s terrible handling of its concussion crisis.