Game of the Week Preview: Week 1
Article from @BlitzCFB
National championship contenders Clemson and Georgia meet in Charlotte for a clash of College Football titans
College Football kicks into full gear this weekend with six straight days of games. Highlighting those six days will be a game of the year contender as Clemson will battle Georgia.
Many people think that this could be Georgia’s year. They have some valuable pieces on defense and the offensive line. Head coach Kirby Smart also has JT Daniels, who is arguably the best QB that Smart has had in his tenure at Georgia. There has been a gap in recent years that has separated Georgia from the likes of Clemson, Alabama and Ohio State. This is the perfect year for Georgia to minimize that gap and even join the elites in College Football.
Clemson lost Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne, but they consistently reload. Head coach Dabo Swinney knows how to win the big game, and his Tigers have been successful in Charlotte. Swinney’s team has won 7 straight games at Bank of America Stadium.
A win for either of these teams will provide a huge boost. The loser of this game will be put under a lot of pressure the rest of the season as they would likely have to win out to make the College Football Playoff.
Georgia offense vs Clemson defense
JT Daniels will be one of the best QBs in the SEC this season. He will be protected by one of the best offensive lines in the entire nation. Myles Murphy could pose a threat at defensive end for the UGA offensive line, but Clemson won’t throw anything at the Dawgs offensive line that they can’t handle. Zamir White and James Cook should be able to churn out some yards to open up the passing game. Watch out for LB James Skalski, who returns this season. He is the leader of the Tigers defense. Clemson’s secondary against Georgia’s receivers will be an interesting matchup to watch as they are pretty evenly matched. Jermaine Burton and Kearis Jackson will likely be the go-to targets for JT Daniels. The Bulldogs’ offensive line should be able to protect JT Daniels, and they will give Daniels adequate time to find his targets. Expect to see Georgia get into the end zone a few times against this tough, physical, hard-nosed Clemson defense.
Clemson offense vs Georgia defense
As mentioned previously, Clemson lost Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne. QB DJ Uiagalelei and RBs Lyn-J Dixon and Kobe Pace will attempt to pick off right where they left off. Unfortunately, they won’t be able to against a stout Georgia defense, which will be one of the very best in the country this season. There are future draft picks all over the Georgia defense. Luckily for Clemson, Justyn Ross is back at wide receiver after missing 2020 due to injury. Clemson does have depth at the skill positions, which will serve them well this game against a traditionally physical Dawgs defense. Just like Georgia, don’t expect a huge scoring spree from the Tigers. They have an inexperienced, but talented leader in Uiagalelei, and they lost some talent from last season. Some names to watch out for on the Georgia defense are LB Nakobe Dean, Clemson transfer CB Derion Kendrick and S Lewis Cine. Clemson will have a hard time running the football. Expect Dabo Swinney to pull out all the tricks against a tough Georgia defense.
What will happen
If we are looking at talent alone, Georgia has the better team. They have the experience edge and will win the line of scrimmage. However, I don’t trust Kirby Smart in big time situations and games. Dabo Swinney has been in big time situations and games before and has succeeded tremendously. This will be a battle and could come right down to the wire. Georgia will control the game early on. Clemson will remain in striking distance though. Both teams will struggle to score, but Clemson will score late and steal the game from the Dawgs.
Prediction: Georgia 20-21 Clemson (UGA +3.5 & UNDER 50.5)
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