The Clemson Tigers will be heading to Athens, Georgia to square off against the Georgia Bulldogs to open their season this weekend. Last year they played in a back-and-forth battle that ended with the Tigers coming out on top.
Most analysts are expecting the Bulldogs to avenge last year’s loss and win by double-digits. Head coach Dabo Swinney just uses those headlines to fuel the fire.
The Tigers are having to replace quite a few players on the offensive side of the ball. Senior quarterback Cole Stoudt is finally getting his chance to man the ship, while most of his experience has been in mop-up duty the coaching staff is expecting big things out of him in their high-powered offense. Expectations on offense may be high, but there are still some question marks on how well they will perform.
The defense gave up almost 550 yards of offense to the Bulldogs last season, but the Tigers defense will be much better as a whole. Guys like preseason All-American Vic Beasley and Stephone Anthony will be heavily relied upon to anchor the defense.
In order for them to have any chance in this game they will need to limit the turnovers on offense and defensively they need to contain a talented group of receivers but most importantly running back Todd Gurley. Gurley is arguably the best running back in college football and will be looking to prove that against the Tigers.
Of course playing on the road is another tough task to handle, but don’t expect this Tiger team to shy away from competition. Yes, they will have their hands full and it will likely be another high scoring affair, but I like the Tigers to come out on top of this one partly because I believe they have a stronger defense.
Defenses win championships. This defense is one of the best in the country. They will prove that come August 30 in Athens when they knock off the heavily favored Bulldogs yet again.