The Clemson Tigers beat the Georgia Bulldogs 38-35 in a thriller of a college football game. It was back and forth the entire game, with Martavis Bryant’s recovery on a last ditch Georgia onside kick winning it for the Tigers.
However, what was really impressive for the Tigers was their defense. All offseason long, all the talk surrounded Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins, and rarely focused on Clemson’s defense. I expected Clemson to have a good first half, but Aaron Murray and Todd Gurley to put them away in the second half with overwhelming offensive talent. Clemson’s defense stepped up and saved the Tigers from an opening loss.
I get it, 35 points is a lot to give up for a defense that wants to win a national championship. However, don’t forget that Georgia may be the most balanced offense in the entire country; Murray and Gurley are both Heisman candidates. The defensive line put pressure on Murray, and was able to keep Gurley in check – yes, 154 yards is considered keeping Gurley in check.
If the Tigers are to have any chance of making it to the national championship, their defense has to play with that kind of mentality all season long. They cannot get complacent when they blow out some of the weaker ACC teams.
The offense and the defense for the Tigers will have to be in perfect harmony if they are to defeat the South Carolina Gamecocks in the last game of the regular season. One outstanding performance against one of the best offenses in college football isn’t going to lead to an undefeated season — Clemson needs 11 more from their defense.