The college football season is fast approaching. We are just weeks away from games kicking off all over the nation. Over the next several weeks, I’m going to preview what I think are the must-watch SEC games for each week. So grab your remote and ready your DVR, because these are the games you want to plan for.
This will be the second matchup of a home-and-home series between the Bulldogs and Tigers. Last season’s game was a wild one in Death Valley, with Clemson outlasting UGA by a score of 38-35. It was an instant classic and fun to watch. The Bulldogs will be looking to avenge that game back home in Athens, as well as propel themselves toward a playoff run. They will be favored as the home team and have more returning talent than the Tigers.
Dabo Swinney will be coaching his first game without Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins. Those are two huge talents to replace, and the hole will be felt on offense. Swinney’s team will also be shorthanded as he suspended four players for the opening game.
The Bulldogs will face the daunting task of replacing superstar four-year starter Aaron Murray at quarterback. However, Murray went down with an ACL tear late last season, giving presumptive starter Hutson Mason some much-needed playing time. With experience under his belt and a full offseason of No. 1 reps, Mason looks primed and ready to take over under center.
Even with all that manpower missing from the Clemson sideline due to departures and suspensions, the Tigers still have a talented bunch. Mark Richt‘s Bulldogs should be stout again on offense, and with the defense playing its first game with Jeremy Pruitt calling the plays, it could be another shootout. You can bet it will be fun.
In the end, however, the experience, depth and talent of the Bulldogs will be too much for the Tigers to handle. Add to that the fact that Pruitt has good knowledge of the Clemson offense from being at Florida State, along with the game being in Athens, and it makes the odds of an upset very long.
Final score prediction: Georgia 30, Clemson 24