Jadeveon Clowney has people talking again — and for a reason no one expected when his final season kicked off six weeks ago.
The South Carolina All-American pulled himself from the lineup Saturday night a short time before the 14th-ranked Gamecocks’ 35-28 victory over Kentucky, saying pain from strained muscles around his ribs was too much to bear.
South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier was unsure if Clowney would be ready to go against Arkansas (3-3, 0-2 Southeastern Conference) next Saturday.
“If he wants to play, we’ll welcome him to come play for the team if he wants to,” Spurrier said. “If he doesn’t want to play, he doesn’t have to.”
It’s the latest in a season of illness, injuries, and ineffectiveness for the 6-foot-6-inch, 274-pound Clowney, who figured to dominate.
Spurrier said his frustration came more from the way he learned his star defender would be out rather than him missing the game.
‘‘Usually, the doctor or the trainer comes and tells you a guy will be out,’’ he said. ‘‘That did not happen last night.’’
‘‘On the other side,’’ Spurrier continued, ‘‘if a player’s in pain, I don’t want him to play, none of us do.’’
When asked about Clowney’s commitment to the Gamecocks, Spurrier replied, ‘‘You’ll have to ask him that.’’
Bone spurs in Clowney’s right foot — it’s an injury he’s had since high school — have bothered him all year. He needed an IV preparing for Central Florida two games ago because of a stomach bug.
Clowney’s 13 sacks and school-record 23½ tackles for loss last season helped earn him SEC defensive player of the year honors.
Georgia running back Keith Marshall and receiver Justin Scott-Wesley will miss the rest of the season after tearing the ACLs in their right knees Saturday during a 34-31 overtime victory at Tennessee.
Bulldogs coach Mark Richt confirmed the severity of their injuries Sunday.
Richt also announced wide receiver Michael Bennett will undergo evaluation to determine how much time he will miss after injuring his right knee at Tennessee.
Richt said Bennett definitely wouldn’t play Saturday when the seventh-ranked Bulldogs (4-1, 3-0 SEC) host No. 25 Missouri (5-0, 1-0). Punter Collin Barber’s status is day to day after sustaining a concussion in the Tennessee game.
Georgia is already without receiver Malcolm Mitchell (ACL) and running back Todd Gurley (sprained ankle), as well as safeties Tray Matthews and Connor Norman.
Lyerla leaves Ducks
Tight end Colt Lyerla is leaving No. 2 Oregon because of personal reasons.
Lyerla did not travel with the Ducks to their game at Colorado on Saturday. Coach Mark Helfrich said after the 57-16 victory that the junior was suspended for a game for violating team rules.
Lyerla told Oregon’s athletics website that his withdrawal from the Ducks on Sunday had nothing to do with that suspension.
Lyerla also told GoDucks.com that he will pursue an NFL career.
Lyerla caught three passes for 26 yards this season. For his career, he caught 34 passes for 565 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Lyerla landed in the doghouse this summer over going to Twitter with his support of conspiracy theories surrounding the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. One of his posts concerned the parents of the young victims.
The school issued a strongly worded statement condemning the post.
Ty Montgomery finished with 290 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns, and the fifth-ranked Cardinal held on to beat then-No. 15 Washington, 31-28, late Saturday night in a matchup of unbeaten Pac-12 North teams. The Cardinal (5-0, 3-0) needed a late overruling of a completed Washington pass on fourth down to survive. The Huskies (4-1, 1-1) dropped to No. 16 in Sunday’s poll . . . After further review, California quarterback Jared Goff has set a single-game school record for passing yards. Cal announced Sunday that a third-quarter play originally credited as a 15-yard run by Chris Harper was actually a 15-yard completion. The change gives Goff 504 yards for the 44-22 win against Washington State, one more than the school record Pat Barnes set on Nov. 2, 1996 . . . Minnesota coach Jerry Kill has a well-timed bye week to recover from his latest seizure. Team spokesman Paul Rovnak said Kill stayed at home Sunday to rest. He had an episode the day before that kept him from traveling to the game at Michigan. The Gophers don’t play again until Oct. 19.
Irish’s Grace done
Notre Dame middle linebacker Jarrett Grace, who is tied for the most tackles on the team with 40, is lost for the season with a broken right leg he suffered against Arizona State. Coach Brian Kelly said the 6-2, 253-pound junior was doing well after undergoing surgery in Dallas, where a rod was placed to help heal the fibula fracture. Kelly also said senior receiver Daniel Smith has a broken left ankle and will undergo surgery. He will also miss the rest of the season . . . Oklahoma linebacker Corey Nelson will likely miss the rest of the season because of a partially torn muscle in his chest. The senior captain is second on the team in tackles with 27 . . . Auburn defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson said linebacker Cassanova McKinzy’s status is uncertain for the Western Carolina game with a stinger or a “pretty serious neck sprain.’’ McKinzy is third on the team with 23 tackles.