Video: Jadeveon Clowney destroys a Michigan player in the Outback Bowl

By Adam Kramer   Jan. 01, 2013

I’m trying to think of a more athletic defensive play than the one South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney made against Michigan in the Outback Bowl, and not many worthy candidates come to mind. He’s a freak, it’s that simple.

After a quiet start in the game, you knew Clowney wouldn’t stay quiet forever. He woke up.

Oh, he forced the fumble, knocking Vincent Smith’s helmet off with a vicious hit, then picked up the football… with one hand somewhat casually. Seriously, this is as good as it gets.

An unbelievable play by the game’s best player.

And GIF.

GIF via Bleacher Report

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    1. Big Ed

      Best hit of the 2012-13 Bowl season!

    2. juliodpg91

      after dumbass refs blow an obvious measurement showing michigan 3 unches short of a first down and giving it to them anyway incensing the gamecocks a pissed off jedavian clowney takes matters into his own hands hahaha!

    3. oaklanddan

      Easy to destroy a guy when the o-lineman forgets to block you.

    4. GoBlueDan

      Way to go Hoke – Loss to Ohio State and Bowl Loss. We need a top tier coach.

    5. OaklandFan

      I love a good Can Opener!

    6. drthmaw

      terrible officiating set that play up. Sheed Wallace once said, “Ball don’t lie.” I believe he was right about that.

    7. 1/1/13

      This was the worse call by an official who was obviously
      Biased against South Carolina by awarding Michigan a first
      down when the chain was showing the first down was at least
      Three inches short of being a first down.

      I believe it equaled the famous 5th down touchdown by Notre Dame
      about twenty years ago against Colorado…when Notre Dame was losing
      stopped at the goal four times. With no huddle Notre Dame picked up the ball
      and stepped across the goal line for a fifth down. The official signaled a touch down
      and the game was declared over and Notre Dame won on a fifth down. The game was
      Protested but the officials and the league to no avail. The game was literally Stolen by Notre Dame and the game officials.

    8. [...] [H/T to Kegs 'N Eggs] [...]

    9. correction

      Hey Bledso, It was Colorado who got an extra (5th) down to win the game. And it was against Missouri….I do agree that giving Michigan the first down today was a terrible call and is inexcusable.

    10. schu

      Obvious helmet to facemask. Should have been 15 yd penalty.

    11. LAFNatU

      A man hitting a boy. Obvious CHILD ABUSE. He popped that POPWARNER size player. That was a dangerous HIT. Someone could have been injured if that helmet had went into the stands.

    12. 1/2/13

      The ref should be banned from ever being involved in another bowl game. The call was inexcusable and obviously baised. I can’t believe it isn’t all over ESPN. They had very little coverage of the call. The hit they show every 5 mins, but the call is the biggest joke of the season. Might well be the worst call ever?!?

    13. Derric

      he is a 2013 version of Lawrence Taylor…….

    14. noah


    15. Fogdog

      As usual everyone misses the obvious. This guys helmet came off because he has dreadlocks and his helmet doesn’t fit correctly. I’ve seen it happen a number of times this past season and everytime the player had oversized dreads. In an era where everyone is hyper sensative about concussions it is a laugh that players arent required to get rid of their dreads for safety purposes. Wake up and look at the obvious. A player rather have a fashionable hairdo rather than have his helmet correctly tightened. It is time to outlaw dreads in college and NFL.

    16. badbishop

      Fogdog – conner shaws helmet came off too in that game and he is bald. do we outlaw bald also

    17. 1/2/13

      That’s fifteen yards for Michigan in the pros: helmet -to – helmet!

    18. JR

      Paul Rue & Schu…you guys are blind. Clowney’s helmet hits the Michigan guy square in the chest. Only reason helmet contact occurred was because his head snapped toward upon impact. Great hit, no flag!!!

    19. Ozone

      #65 tried to block him, the attempt was made but Clowney was quick off the line and ran through. WOW what a hit…..

    20. A.C. Smith

      Helmet-to-Helmet hits don’t apply to running backs in the NFL or anywhere else for that matter.

    21. steve

      People please, Clowney got man handled by Lewan, Clowney only had 4 tackles. was never Double teamed the whole game, the hit he made on Smith was because someone missed a blocking assignment not because he beat someone. Any good defense player would have made the same hit if he wasn’t blocked. On top of that he got away with a Helmet to Helmet hit Way overrated. Good defensive player not a great player yet. Great players get doubled team and still make plays.

    22. NDfan8


      You know that fifth down play won Colorado the game against Mizzouri, 33-31. Notre Dame wasn’t even involved. You should learn a thing or two about sports before you open your mouth.

    23. Larry

      Hey Schu, you need glasses or either you are as blind as that referee on the 4th down call. That was a helmet to chest hit. JD did not go after the runners head. This guy is the best defensive player in the country. I saw him play High School football and he just manhandled evry player he came into contact with. Super nice guy, but a beast on the football field.

    24. LAFNatU

      “You” must know what you are talking about STEVE. Clowney is only “average”. Those NFL SCOUTS don’t know anything about football. You know more than they do. That is why they are paid big money to evaluate talent for the next level and you watch games on a 13″ B&W tv and eat cheetos all day. Gruiden don”t know anything about football, he was only a NFL coach. You are the GURU of talent evaluation.

    25. Clifton Thomas

      Please, you all know that was the hit of the year!!! If you go back and look at Jadeveon Clowney’s high school games you would know that he is a beast. He will go first in the draft. This man is a Great football player

    26. catdaddy

      Yes, he is a killer!!!! My hats off to SC and Jadeveon Clowney. They will be back next year

    27. Goochie

      Please people, Clowney destroyed that poor fella…..the hit was clean, the kid is a beast, he will be drafted first, and yes, Lewan handled him better than anyone has so far! No reason to hate on anyone……..other than that dumbass official!

    28. catdaddy

      This man is 6’6″ and 256 lbs. Jadeveon Clowney is outstanding. I am 6’7″ , 280 lbs and I know big when I see it. He is pro material. He will be gone after next year to the Oakland Raiders baby!!!!!! yeah

    29. 1/2/13

      Steve, It was Lawan that got called for holding and a face mask on Clowney. Lewan is a good player but the better player showed what he had in the end.

    30. 1/2/13

      @ Steve, the game i watched had Clowney being triple teamed on passed? the guy did alright, but he had help.

    31. rex

      Everyone in the nation thinks Clowney is awesome except for Steve. Hey pansy, this is football and massive hits happen. I’m sure you would have thrown a flag in your world but we do not live in that pansy world. A game winning hit, maybe you don’t understand football

    32. Mike Van Hook

      “Get me the ball!”

    33. Cincy Rob

      The only thing that would make this hit better is if Clowney played for OHIO STATE!!!!!

    34. Pez

      Clowney led with his helmet. Penalty. Ask Alec Ogletree at the University of Georgia about that…

    35. Pez

      Having said what I previously posted, this play should never have happened. The official who determined that UM had a 1st down was obviously biased. Everyone watching that measurement could see that.

    36. rex

      Look at frame o:o4 then look up urban dictionary def. #1 for Pez

    37. george


    38. Pez

      I see a lead with the helmet. Full contact came with his upper body a frame later, but Clowney came in head down, making initial contact with his helmet.

    39. There are no blown calls like the first down measurement…. there is money and moral hazard in big money sports…..

    40. 1/2/13

      Football is a sport of COLLISION!!!!

    41. [...] JaDaveon Clowney is fun. And painful.  [...]

    42. Ted

      Read the rules people, there is no helmet to helmet call on hitting a running back. Clowney is a beast pass rushing, but could stand to beef up some for the pros. I’m glad he’s going to the NFL, so UGA won’t have to play against him next year. That was one if not the best College hit I’ve seen all year.

    43. The rules regarding leading with the helmet, as Clowney CLEARLY did here are regardless of the position of the player being hit as the rule is designed to protec t the player delivering the hit. If Clowney keeps on delivering illegal hits like this sooner or later he will end up with a very serious neck injury. Sadly, that may be what it takes to bring his overarching ego in check. The only reason Clowney has not been flagged before now is that he is so freakishly fast officials can’t tell it the hit was clean or not in realtime. The fact that the Michigan players helmet flew straight BACK, rather than forward, should have told the officials it had to be knocked off from the FRONT and there had to be helmet to helmet contact, but then again these officials can’t even get a simple measurement correct.

    44. rex

      Initial contact is absolutely not with the helmet that’s why nobody has even suggested an illegal hit except for a pack of pansy numbnuts that want football to be a game of patty cake. You have a video that you can observe frame by frame and you still can see initial contact, not too bright.

    45. 1/2/13

      Hi guys; dont be sp hard on Coach just yet. He’s made progress in his short tenure. This year Michigan improved from the opening loss to Bama to being ‘in the fight’ against S.C. for most of the ball game. A lot of Bama folk are not sorry at all that we didnt have to face S.C. this year :) Michigan is going to rise again. Give your coach another year or two. They’re not that far away, really. Ohio State need not get use to beating your team. I think this year was an anomoly. Just another voice….

    46. The Man

      Steve, you’re a hater and a loser. Hit of the year. Deal with it MORON! Only wish you were carrying the ball.

    47. LAblueMI

      Jadeveon Clowney did not like the 1st down call and took it out on Smith. Clowney will be playing on Sunday after next season. He is a freak, a very talented freak. Michigan played a great game except for two turn overs and the punt returned for a TD. We are not that far away from have a great program again. To have those kinds of mistakes and still be in the game with a top SEC team til the final minutes is a credit to the fight in those kids.

      @Bama4evuh I think you are right, Michigan was a much improved team from the opening Bama Game to the Bowl game. Looking forward the the final bowl championship and another National championship for Alabama. ROLL TIDE!

    48. LAblueMI

      @Cincy Rob I wish he did play for Ohio State, then he would have been at home for the bowl games with the rest of the cheaters.

    49. T.O.

      #1 – Lewan held Clowney almost every time he had him one on one which was about a quarter of the time. #2 – a tight end was used the other 3 quarters of the time to double team him. #3 – Michigan ran trick plays and smoke screens the whole game because they aren’t good enough to line up in a pro set and beat any good defense which forced Clowney to stay at home on a lot of plays instead of rushing the passer. #3 – he crushed another running back on the next drive that was overshadowed by the decapitation shown here. #4 – anyone that says this was an illegal hit has obviously never played organized football nor read a rule book. Turn on the sugar bowl and count how many running backs are tackled with this same form on every running play up the middle. I can’t stand sore losers…..I can promise you everyone here complaining is a 5 loss Michigan fan looking for an excuse as to why they lost to every ranked team they played this year.

    50. Charlie

      if no one blocks you what else do you expect

    51. VTUSC

      Hokie Dad & Carolina grad. Irony that Michigan was totally outplayed but won the Sugar Bowl last year. Spurrier admitted Michigan played the better game. yet lost this year. Your offensive schemes were varsity, Harbaugh level stuff. Find some DBs who can behave and cover to go with your great incoming class and you will not only beat Ohio St regularly but get another shot at an SEC team.

      Hey Ted, JC will appear between the hedges Week 2 next year while most your defense will still be on community service.

      Poor positioning (behind the ball) on the 1st down call led to a parallax view that created the visual impression of the ball past the marker. So the mechanics were bad enough; the subsequent denial was humanly understandable, but so disappointing. at least Hoculi admitted to his error vs the Bolts. But did you notice USC got every call after that by the rest of the crew? Good spots and every catch was immediately ruled a completion. Think about it…what if ACE Sanders catch had been ruled incomplete? The video replay may not have been enough to overturn the call.

    52. E Z Cheez

      Perfect form tackle. FACE MASK to chest, and accelerate up and through the hit. When people tell you not to lead with your helmet, it means not to put your head down like a battering ram. He led with his face mask to the midsection, as you should have been taught in peewee football. Aim for the torso, wherever it goes, the rest of the body goes. Viscous hit, but totally clean.

    53. Football Fan

      Man, he’s not clowning around. Great hit, but with all the helmet to helmet calls I’ve had to endure this season, this definitely should have been flagged.

      They are cracking down, I tell you. He better learn NOT to lead with the crown of his helmet – for his own safety too. He hits someone his own size that way and he may find himself in a neck brace.

      I will say, they seem to let them play in bowl games, and it seems they let this slide too. Personally I’d rather seem the game officiated the same at all times. It’s not just football – other sports get lax during playoffs too.

    54. damon leaphart

      That hit was clean plus the lineman did a down block clowney did the right thing playing that lineman.

    55. [...] [H/T to Kegs 'N Eggs] [...]

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    57. [...] Tigers have at maintaining their offense. We’ve all seen what happens when Clowney’s allowed to dictate a gameplan, so that’s not an option. Clemson’s learned plenty from last year to this year, but [...]

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