August 29, 2014

Game Prediction - Clemson vs. Univ. of Georgia

College football started off with bang Thursday night with Texas A&M upsetting No. 9 South Carolina in Columbia.

Now it’s Clemson’s turn to try and garner a little “upset special” magic as the Tigers travel to Athens, Georgia to take on the Bulldogs as a 7 1/2 point underdog.

Clemson fans have waited long enough and kickoff is only a little more than 24 hours away.



Why Georgia Might Win
The Georgia Bulldogs may have the best rushing attack with running backs Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley. How healthy are those two? Nobody really knows. Georgia will be starting senior quarterback Hutson Mason who replaces SEC record holder Aaron Murray. The Bulldogs’ quarterback situation is a little bit different than Clemson’s in that Mason started a few games last season after Murray went down with a torn ACL – giving Mason a little bit more experience than Cole Stoudt for the Tigers. The Bulldogs offensive line is supposed to be a little bit better this season, but can they hold up against Clemson’s defensive line?

Defensively, nobody is really sure what first year Georgia defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt has. The defensive line is experienced, but they will be playing in a 3-4 scheme under Pruitt. However at linebacker, the Bulldogs may have the best linebacker corps in Leonard Floyd, Jordan Jenkins, Ramik Wilson and Amarlo Herrera. The back end of that defense could cause Pruitt some problems as outside of Damian Swann, there is a lot of youth and inexperience. If this game were to come to a late field goal, you’ve got to like Georgia’s chances with junior Marshall Morgan.

Why Clemson Might Win
If defense wins championships, then 2014 may just be Clemson’s year. With a lot of question marks on the offensive side of the ball after the departures of Tajh Boyd, Sammy Watkins and Martavis Bryant, Clemson’s defense will be on center stage. Luckily for the Tigers, that defense line and linebacker corps is stacked with experienced seniors who are ready to make a name for themselves. Everyone knows about defensive end Vic Beasley who had 13 sacks a year ago, but they seem to forget about Grady Jarrett – who just might be the top defensive tackle in the country – DeShawn Williams, D.J. Reader, Shaq Lawson and Stephone Anthony. This defense has experience all over the field they are ready to show the country that they can carry this team and be the best in the country.

Offensively, senior Cole Stoudt will take the reins of offensive coordinator Chad Morris’ system for the first time. Every time he has taken the field he has been cool, calm and collected. Will that continue once he steps on the field with 90,000 fans screaming at him? My guess is yes. The Tigers are as deep at running back as they’ve been in the last four years with D.J. Howard, C.J. Davidson, Wayne Gallman and Adam Choice – the guy with the hot hand will get the majority of the carries. At wide receiver Clemson returns Mike Williams, Adam Humphries, Charone Peake and Germone Hopper, however the person that might catch everyone’s attention is tight end Jordan Leggett who will lineup in the backfield and out at receiver. If he is on Saturday evening, he will be a matchup nightmare for the Bulldogs defense.

What Will Happen
The Georgia marketing staff has been encouraging Bulldog fans to wear red on Saturday and have a “Red Out” to support their team, the ticket office oversold the student ticket allotment for the game, so there is no doubt that Clemson will be walking into as electric an atmosphere as they will see this season. Clemson’s offense will move the ball, because Morris’ system caters to the strengths of the offense whether that be the run game or a combination of Peake, Humphries, and Leggett. Unfortunately for the Tigers there are just too many question marks and too many unknowns heading into a hostile environment. This one comes down to a late kick and it doesn’t go in the Tigers favor.

FINAL SCORE: Georgia, 24 – Clemson, 21

Post written by Clemson Girl Sports Bloggess Nikki Steele

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