- 08 Aug 2018, 12:58 #19269
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina All-American Jadeveon Clowney looked less than dominant against North Carolina, not that it mattered to him or the sixth-ranked Gamecocks. Clowney shook off a stomach virus earlier in the week -- and some sluggish play during the game -- to help South Carolinas defence hold North Carolina to its lowest point total under coach Larry Fedora in a 27-10 victory to open the season Thursday night. "Here I am back in front again, ready for all these questions about conditioning," Clowney said. "Lets go." Mike Davis ran 75 yards for a touchdown while Connor Shaw and Dylan Thompson each threw long scoring passes to put the Gamecocks in front. Clowney and company made it all stand up. "Hats off to my defence," Clowney said. "As long as we get the win, thats all that matters to me." Steve Spurrier was disappointed at his teams conditioning on defence, including Clowney. "Did you watch what I was watching?" he said when asked about Clowney. "No, I dont have to say it. You write what you see. Well try and work on our conditioning for the entire team." Clowney did not have a sack and finished with three first-half tackles. The Tar Heels fast-paced offence wore him down and forced him to the sideline for several pit stops, yet he and the defence mostly hemmed in North Carolina. Shaw and Thompson put South Carolina up 17-0 in the opening quarter. Shaw found Shaq Roland for a 65-yard touchdown on the games third play. Thompson threw a 29-yard TD to Kane Whitehurst later in the quarter. The game was delayed with 8:20 left when lightning closed in on the stadium. Fans filed out quickly and hit their cars as heavy rain and thunder pelted the field for about an hour. Its been a steady stream of chatter about all things Clowney the past eight months, since he knocked the helmet off a Michigan runner in the Outback Bowl. Should he sit out the year and protect his draft status as next years No. 1 pick? How much insurance should he take out? (He has $5 million worth.) Can he become the first defence-only player to win the Heisman Trophy? If he makes it to New York for the Heisman Trophy presentation in December, he likely wont have this game on his highlight reel. "Everybody always expects a lot from JD. He expects a lot from himself," defensive co-ordinator Lorenzo Ward said. "I told him he might have to watch what hes eating if his energys down. We have to make sure we can play more than three, four, five plays at a time." Clowney laughed off the expectations and promised things would improve. "First game of the season," he said. "Its going to get better. Week after week, its going to get better and better." North Carolina continually played away from Clowneys side with short passes and quick runs. When the Tar Heels did come his way, left tackle James Hurst -- an all-ACC player with NFL hopes of his own -- did a solid job keeping No. 7 in check. Clowney didnt agree, saying it was more North Carolinas tempo than Hursts blocking that got to him. "I wasnt really impressed like I was against the guy from Michigan," Clowney said, referring to Wolverines Taylor Lewan. Right before halftime, Clowney appeared to be breathing heavy in the 90-degree heat and humidity. There was a scary moment after play resumed when Clowney was cut from behind by backup offensive lineman Kiaro Holts, who was called for clipping. Davis finished with 115 yards on 12 carries. Shaw was 11 for 19 passing for 149 yards and his touchdown. The Gamecocks looked like they might give their defence a break with a 17-point first quarter that was their biggest production in an opening-game quarter since 1996s 33-14 win over Central Florida. The Gamecocks outgained North Carolina 203 yards to 35 in the opening quarter. The Tar Heels settled down a bit after that and closed to 17-7 on Renners 4-yard TD pass to Quinshad Davis. North Carolina, though, hurt itself several times. After the defence forced a three-and-out, T.J. Thorpe muffed the punt at midfield to keep South Carolinas drive going. Elliott Fry added field goals of 39 and 26 yards in his first game at South Carolina. Spurrier has said all summer that South Carolina is more than just Clowney. The Gamecocks defence certainly was, holding North Carolinas high-speed attack to 121 yards in the first 30 minutes. The Tar Heels averaged more than 40 points and 485 yards a game last year. North Carolina opened the second half with a 17-play, 7-minute drive that ended with a field goal to cut the lead to 20-10. Then Davis, the younger brother of ex-Clemson 1,000-yard rusher James Davis, burst through the line on South Carolinas next snap and broke out for his long touchdown run. The Tar Heels couldnt make anything happen after that. Renner and the Tar Heels drove to South Carolinas 2 in the final two minutes, but could not score. Renner was stopped a yard short of the end zone by defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles. Renner ended 26 of 43 with 194 yards. The Tar Heels finished with 293 yards. Fedora wasnt sure why his offence stalled. "Were in year two. I wish we were farther along than we are, but were not," he said. "That was a good measuring stick for us. I didnt look at tonight and say, Were so far away were not going to make it. I dont think were that far away." Mike Wallace Jersey . "I have had no discussions with Chad Johnson or his representation," Popp said Friday in an email. However, he appeared to confirm a report on Twitter from TSN this week that Johnson was on Montreals negotiation list. 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"The offensive line did a great job, made it easy for me," said Kaepernick, who led the 49ers to the Super Bowl last year. "I think this is one of the first game that we started that fast." Kaepernick ended up with 164 yards passing and 54 yards rushing, Frank Gore also ran for two scores and 71 yards, while Kendall Hunter rushed for 84 yards for the 49ers (6-2). But it was Kaepernick that made the key plays by when the team needed it early. "He looked much like a running back, and thats great courage," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. "You dont always see that in the quarterback position. As soon as he saw that window, he had a great dart and speed to get the ball into the end zone." The Jaguars (0-8) were the "home" team at Londons iconic soccer venue, playing in the British capital for the first of their four-year run of regular-season NFL games in London. They had plenty of fan support, too, with many of the 83,559 spectators waving their giveaway Jaguars flags throughout the evening. None of that affected what was happening on the field, and on the field it wasnt pretty for the Jags. "Our seasons not over," Jaguars receiver Justin Blackmon. "Were not going to just go out there and get our (butts) kicked, were going to go back out there and fight." Kaepernick made his first big play on San Franciscos first possession, quickly throwing to fullback Bruce Miller on the right sideline for a 43-yard gain. A few plays later, Kaepernick scrambled for 4 1/2 yards on a third-and 5, setting up Gore for a short gain and a first down. After an incomplete pass, Gore ran 19 yards for the first touchdown. Kaepernick took over the scoring after that, running 13 yards and diving into the corner for the second touchdown late in the first quarter, then passing to Vernon Davis in the corner of the end zone for another, and finally holding it and scrambling for 7 yards and a touchdown. And all in the first half. "Kaepernick is a stud athlete and he showed it again tonight," Jaguars linebacker Paul Posluszny said. Besides a 38-yard field goal by Josh Scobee in the waning seconds of the half to make it 28-3, Jacksonville had little to be happy about. But the 49ers fumbled in their own territory late in thhe third quarter, giving the Jaguars their best chance to score.dddddddddddd They took it as Chad Henne tossed a 29-yard touchdown pass to Mike Brown to make it 28-10 with 3:00 to go. The Niners bounced right back, first with Kyle Williams returning the kick 47 yards before getting pushed out of bounds. Hunter ran 41 yards on the next play, bringing the ball to the Jacksonville 13. Gore then ran for 9 yards, 2 yards and the final 2 on three straight plays for the touchdown. San Francisco linebacker Dan Skuta scored the final points, recovering a fumble and running it back 47 yards for a touchdown after Marcedes Lewis let the ball loose following a 6-yard completion from Henne. "There are definitely some plays that we needed to make, and the red zone really killed us," Henne said. "If its just players needing to make plays, we have to make them. We need to man up." Both teams have a bye next week, as is usual after the trip to London. The Jags then visit Tennessee on Nov. 10 while the 49ers host Carolina. "The bye week is coming at a good time," Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said. "We can take the time to evaluate where were at with our whole team and recommit to take the next step." Sundays encounter was the eighth regular-season NFL game at Wembley, the home of Englands national soccer team, and the second this year. The Minnesota Vikings beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 34-27 last month. Next year, there will be three games in London. The Jaguars will face the Dallas Cowboys in their second game of the four-game stretch, while the Detroit Lions will play the Atlanta Falcons and the Miami Dolphins will take on the Oakland Raiders. Harbaugh seemed to love the experience of making the trip, likening it to another huge sporting event. "The beginning of the game when they were playing the two national anthems, I felt like I was at the Olympics," Harbaugh said. "As a youngster, I always wanted to be in the Olympics and at that moment I was feeling like the moment when they play the gold medal and the silver medal and the bronze medal, the different anthems. "I got a chill when the gal was singing God Save the Queen." NOTES: R&B artist Ne-Yo sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" and Laura Wright sang "God Save the Queen." ... 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