You Can Cut the Tension With a Knife
With kickoff a mere ten days away, anticipation is building for Georgia’s 2013 season opener against the Clemson Tigers, and concern is starting to creep in between the hedges. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution continues to report on the Bulldogs depleted defensive backfield. A game that I previously believed would be an opportunity for Georgia to make a bold statement is now a contest that I hope the Dawgs can find a way to win.
Expect a Shootout in Death Valley
Clemson starting quarterback Tajh Boyd led the Atlantic Coast Conference in touchdown passes in 2012, with 36 touchdowns. In all likelihood, the Tigers will look to strike Georgia’s secondary early and often, as Boyd also led the ACC in yards per attempt. The Dawgs must put a lot of pressure on the Clemson signal caller to relieve the aerial assault.
UGA quarterback Aaron Murray had 36 touchdown tosses of his own last year. As he continues to rewrite the Georgia passing record books, the final chapters will be penned beginning on August 31. Murray will be behind a very experienced offensive line that is capable of protecting him and giving him the time he needs to make good decisions with the football.
Unease in Athens
The reality is even if the expected starters are able to make a full recovery by game day, they are still very inexperienced. Clemson’s offense is nothing if not high powered, and the Tigers have proven that they can score very quickly. Defensive coordinator and assistant head coach Todd Grantham will play a big role in the outcome of game one.
Georgia and Clemson each have questions to answer in the defensive secondary. As a result, it is a fairly safe bet that they are going to combine to score 70-80 points before the final whistle blows. Hell, Clemson gave up 70 points to West Virginia in the 2012 Orange Bowl.
The match-up between the Dawgs and the Tigers will end in favor of the team that can win the turnover battle. According to College Football Statistics, Clemson had a total of 21 giveaways in 2012. By comparison, Georgia turned the ball over 19 times. With UGA’s young defense, the Bulldogs absolutely have to avoid beating themselves. Bulldog Nation is eager to take a bite out of Howard’s Rock.