USC Gamecocks Football

By a hair: Jadeveon Clowney yanks an opponent down for a loss by his dreadlocks

‘The Hit’ by Jadeveon Clowney sounded like two cars colliding

From 2013: South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney and Lorenzo Ward react to "The Hit" Clowney made against Michigan in the Outback Bowl.
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From 2013: South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney and Lorenzo Ward react to "The Hit" Clowney made against Michigan in the Outback Bowl.

In football, the difference between a great play and a bad one is often said to be a matter of inches.

For former South Carolina great Jadeveon Clowney on Sunday, the margin for error was a single lock of hair.

In the third quarter of the matchup between Clowney’s Houston Texans and the Buffalo Bills, the ex-Gamecock All-American had yet to record a tackle and was unusually quiet on the field.

He changed that when Bills running back Chris Ivory got the ball, lunging from behind to grab one of Ivory’s dreadlocks and using that lock to yank the tailback down for a loss of three yards.

In case you’re wondering, pulling players by the hair in NFL is a legal move — any hair that flows out of the helmet is considered a part of a player’s uniform. Ironically, Clowney himself has long enough hair to be tackled by himself, if he played offense.

Clowney now has seven tackles for loss on the season, but Buffalo recovered from that most recent one to score a touchdown and take a 13-10 lead in the fourth quarter.

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