Despite the defensive question marks, Dawg fans feel pretty good

Todd Gurley and the Bulldogs' ground game look to be a key to a Georgia win in Death Valley. (Associated Press)

Todd Gurley and the Bulldogs' ground game look to be a key to a Georgia win in Death Valley. (Associated Press)

Seems like just about everyone I’ve run into this week has asked me if I’m ready for Clemson and the new season.

Well, sure, but what I’m more concerned with is whether Mark Richt’s Bulldogs, especially the defensive secondary, are ready.

Overall, most fans are optimistic about Georgia’s prospects this year, despite opening with a September schedule from hell. But there are still a lot of unanswered questions about the wholesale remaking of Todd Grantham’s defense, and making its debut at Clemson against Tajh Boyd and the Tigers’ explosive, hurry-up, no-huddle offense certainly will mean a baptism by fire.

Also, the game will be played in a rather intimidating atmosphere — Death Valley — and Richt teams haven’t exactly come out of the gate with all cylinders firing in recent seasons’ opening games.

But you’ve got to feel pretty good about Georgia’s chances of scoring on Clemson. If the Tigers pack the box to try and stop the running game with Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall, that will open up the lanes for Aaron Murray and the Dogs’ talented corps of receivers, going up against a very suspect Clemson secondary.

Likewise, though, you’ve got to figure the Tigers also feel good about their scoring potential facing a Georgia defense that not only is inexperienced, but which will have one of its key players sitting out a suspension while another talented freshman who has star potential has missed most of preseason practice (including all the scrimmages) with injuries. In fact, in general Georgia’s secondary has been banged up.

On the plus side, the Dogs’ defensive front, while not as big as last year, looks more athletic, and the increased depth will allow more substitution (a big factor in the front wearing down last year against the run).

Dual-threat QB Tajh Boyd will be quite a challenge for Georgia's young defense. (Associated Press)

Dual-threat QB Tajh Boyd will be quite a challenge for Georgia's young defense. (Associated Press)

And while Clemson’s offense looks to be somewhat awesome with Boyd and receiver Sammy Watkins, the Tigers will no longer have 1,000-yard rusher Andre Ellington and 1,000-yard receiver DeAndre Hopkins. So most of the onus for the Tiger ground game probably will fall on quarterback Boyd.

Of course, he’s shown he’s up to it, and Grantham’s defenses sometimes have had trouble dealing with dual-threat quarterbacks.

As for Georgia’s offensive prospects, it’s notable that Clemson last year was very susceptible to the big play (which Murray and Georgia specialized in). Clemson ranked 110th in the country in the number of plays yielded of 30 yards or more.

I think the key matchup, besides Boyd-to-Watkins against Damian Swann and company, will be Georgia’s experienced offensive line against Clemson’s not-that-big defensive front. A friend who’s a fan of the Gamecocks, who handled Clemson nicely last year, says if Georgia is able to get Gurley and Marshall going against the Tigers, the Dogs should be in good shape. (The added advantage of establishing the running game, in addition to opening up the play-action passing game, is that it will eat up more clock and keep Boyd on the sideline.)

Will Georgia try to slow down the pace? Maybe. As Richt put it the other day: “We have the ability to play at whatever tempo we want, and I think the fact that we have a lot of confidence in our running game helps because that’s the part of the game that can chew up a lot of the clock. If you can run the ball well and use all of your 40-second play clock, you’re going to chew up time. If you wait until zero to snap it, you’ll take double the time than if you go fast, so I think the fact that we have the ability to go either way is an advantage for us. We’ll just decide what’s in our best interest as we play the game.”

Damian Swann, the only experienced player in Georgia's secondary, most go up against Sammy Watkins. (Associated Press)

Damian Swann, the only experienced player in Georgia's secondary, most go up against Sammy Watkins. (Associated Press)

So while the game might confound all expectations and turn out to be a defensive struggle, I wouldn’t bet on it. A shootout seems much more likely. Richt said this week that Clemson’s offense most reminds him of Tennessee’s last year, and you’ll recall that the Dawgs finally came out on top in that contest (thanks to some key takeaways) by a score of 51-44.

The over-under set by Las Vegas on the expected combined points total for Saturday night’s game against Clemson is a whopping 71, and that doesn’t look out of line. No wonder the game is pretty much rated a toss-up.

Still, in a showdown of score-happy offenses, Georgia’s greater balance between its top-notch running and passing attacks would appear to be an advantage.

And by that I don’t mean half running and half passing. As Richt said at his press conference this week, “balance to me is the ability to take advantage of a team that is trying to double-cover receivers and run the ball well enough to get them out of that or vice versa. If people are trying to pack the box and stop the run, can we throw well enough or are we balanced enough to take advantage of throwing the ball? I think we are that type of an offensive team. If we do a good job of mixing the plays like Mike (Bobo) does and keeping them off balance, hopefully that will be a big key.”

I think the coach is right on the money there.

The other question I’ve been getting a lot lately is how I think the Dogs will do this season. Both my brothers are predicting 14-0 and national championship. I certainly think it’s possible Georgia could win them all and go all the way. But with the inexperience and injuries on defense, and the tough opening month, the odds are against it and I can’t quite take that leap of faith yet. (If Georgia somehow comes out of the first month of play unscathed, I’ll be happy to hop aboard that train.)

I did a little informal survey of a bunch of fans this week, and — aside from my brothers — their prediction was surprisingly unanimous: 11-1 in the regular season. As one friend put it: “We lose to Clemson or South Carolina and that’s all.” A couple of others said they see Georgia splitting the first two games but beating LSU and Florida. Added another fan: “Losing to Clemson, which looks more likely, won’t derail the season. I think Georgia can beat South Carolina in Athens this year and also will be better than LSU and Florida. That means another trip to Atlanta for the SEC championship.”

And that feels about right to me.

Go Dawgs!

JUNKYARD MAIL

Let’s get to a couple of quick questions …

Josh Thompson writes: Bill, I was wondering if you had an opinion on my hypothesis for the UGA-Clemson game. With Richt playing coy and not saying who will kick against Clemson, I’m feeling more and more confident that you will not see Georgia attempt a field goal the entire game, unless it is in a game-changing situation (tie the game, take the lead, or add an extra possession to your lead) late in the 4th quarter. First, statistics show that coaches are entirely too passive with their 4th down decision making to begin with. Once you throw in the fact that Georgia has what is expected to be one of the most efficient offenses in the country, as well as how unsure our kicking situation was even before [Marshall] Morgan’s suspension, it would only make it an even more sound decision for Richt to keep his offense on the field for any 4th down within field goal range. In the same regard, I would expect to see more pooch punts from the edge of field goal range, since I see more value in giving Clemson a longer field than trusting the backup kicker to knock one in from 50 yards. Especially with the expectation of a high scoring affair, shouldn’t Georgia try to maximize their expected points by keeping their most efficient unit (offense) on the field and their least efficient unit (special teams) off the field? Judging by Richt’s comments (or lack thereof), I am thinking more and more that this may be the case.

It wouldn’t surprise me if Georgia were to go for it rather than try field goals Saturday night. Even though backup punter Adam Erickson, Georgia’s likely placekicker against Clemson, is fully capable of kicking field goals, the coaching staff may well agree with receiver Malcolm Mitchell who recently was asked if he had faith in the kicking game. He said he did, but then added with a smile: “But if we get that close, I think we might as well get the most points.” That makes sense. Plus, as I’ve said before, in a shootout with a team like Clemson, if you’re going for field goals, you’re in trouble.

Andrew Smith writes: Hey Bill, This first month of the season might give me more gray hair! Honestly, if we HAD to lose one of the first two games I’d handle a loss to Clemson more than the Gamecocks. I have friends and family near Clemson and I get the feel that the Tigers season hangs almost entirely on the UGA game. Don’t you sense they desperately want to be thought of as legitimate again?

I think there’s something to what you say, Andrew. This game is actually much bigger for Clemson than it is for Georgia. The Tigers’ bowl victory over LSU was viewed as a major step toward gaining national recognition for the Clemson program, and a win over Georgia would secure that. A loss to Georgia will have most college football observers figuring “same old Clemson.” Georgia, on the other hand, could suffer a loss in the opening game and still have all its goals, both conference and beyond, intact. That can’t be said for the Tigers.

UPDATE: Our subscriber website, MyAJC.com, has up a classic Lewis Grizzard column, written after Georgia’s 1991 upset win over Clemson. I think you’ll enjoy it. The subscriber site also has an expanded SEC section. Check it out.

One last note …

Even if Sundance Festival favorite “The Spectacular Now” wasn’t one of the most favorably reviewed films of the year, I would have gone to see it anyway because the director, James Ponsoldt, also hails from my hometown of Athens and shot the film there last summer. Athens locations are prominently featured, and the young stars, Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley, deserve the rave reviews they’ve gotten. But I wanted to share something that I got a real kick out of at the movie’s end: In the credits, after all the local businesses and institutions that helped out are listed, Ponsoldt gives a shout out to “the kind, cool, gracious people of Athens, Georgia.”

And then he adds: “Go Dawgs!”

How cool is that?

Got something you want to discuss concerning the upcoming football season or UGA athletics? Or a question you want the Junkyard Blawg to tackle? Email me at  junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

172 comments Add your comment

THEBuckeye

August 30th, 2013
9:23 am

dogs usually feel good before they play the game.

But afterward?

Not so much.

Desert Fox

August 30th, 2013
9:24 am

Feel the same about the young and banged up defense. Clemson offense is on paper better then the untested GA D. Concerned about conditioning and cramping in hot and muggy SC. AM and the offense cannot sputter early and give Clemson more chances to score. Keep the turn overs in our favor. GA will need to take advantage of every edge Clemson gives them. This game is a tossup. GO DAWGS

Bulldawg35

August 30th, 2013
9:39 am

That’s right fellow fans…..just downplay the Clemson tigers! I’m sorry losing to Clemson is a heart breaker for the players and a real confidence killer! If we can’t beat Clemson…what makes you people think we can beat SC or Bama or Texas a&m!!! SC is better than Clemson! If we are going to have a great season we must start out 2-0! You fans are apologist!!

P-Man

August 30th, 2013
9:42 am

Really, Buckeye? That’s cool. That means we felt good 12 times last year. That’s a pretty good year. I plan to feel good 14 times this year…

PigIron

August 30th, 2013
9:42 am

Good article as usual, Bill. I’m surprised that so many believe that LSU will remain on a downward spiral this year. That could happen, but I’d say it’s more likely that the LSU game will wind up being the toughest game on Georgia’s schedule.

BulldawgDave

August 30th, 2013
9:43 am

The biggest advantage that we have should be our offensive line and the running backs. I still get tense when Murray drops back against a big time team, but he seems to do well….most of the time. Interceptions will be a key stat for either side. Put Swan on Watkins and have a safety stay over the top of him on most every play. He’s the homerun ball. Boyd will get a few scrambling yards, but we need Herrera and Jenkins to follow him every step. We can’t really completely stop the Clemson O, but we need to force mistakes. I’d say blitz and blitz and blitz…but make sure if you can get to Boyd, you’d better bring him down. He’s not so highly regarded for nothing. UGA wins 35-27.

I-DOG

August 30th, 2013
9:43 am

The college football story this morning is how tired clowney looked last night VERY early in the game.

Here is the formula to neutralize him:

1.) Run a lot of plays in the first quarter, he seems to tire after 15-20 plays. Save the deep throws for the 2nd, 3rd, and fourth quarter. Concentrate on getting some sustained drives in that first quarter with runs, screens, slants and other quick throws to keep USC D and Clowney on the field. Get 2-3 first downs on each of the first couple of possessions and their D will be dragging.

2.) Run right at him early and often

3.) Double team him on pass plays in the first quarter when he is still fresh and at his most dangerous. He is a 5 star player in the first quarter, a 4 star in the 2nd, and a 3 star in the second half. Don’t let him impact the game in the those first two or three drives. After the first quarter our OL can go single coverage on him and Bobo can use the complete playbook including deep throws.

4.) When passing, roll away from his side a couple of times early in the game. He will pursue from all the way on the other side of the field and get winded. I want to see hands on hips by the opening drive of the 2nd quarter.

5.) Quick tempo on offense. UNC stayed in the game (despite being overmatched) by running a hurry up offense. USC either got penalties for not being able to get guys off the field in time, or they weren’t ready at the snap of the ball. If UNC was a little better and could have sustained a couple of drives…they might have pulled the upset. The whole USC defense doesn’t appear to be in game shape.

Bulldawg35

August 30th, 2013
9:44 am

The buckeye…

I agree…..we are national champions on paper! Grantham is hindering the program…he is just not a good DC! We wasted our money on this guy!

P-Man

August 30th, 2013
9:44 am

OK BD35, I’m looking for all the fans downplaying Clemson. To the left? Nope. To the right? Nope!, In front? Nope. Sorry. Don’t see them. Not sure where you’re looking but they ain’t around me.

Interesting…

ARdawg

August 30th, 2013
9:45 am

When most of the naysayers and haterz speak of the UGA defense, they talk as if the kids playing the positions have never played football. They’ll soon find out that they have. Sure there are going to be some learning curves for most of the new guys. Baptism by fire can be a good thing. I’ve no doubt Clemson will score some points and blister the secondary a few times. However, do expect it to last too long. These guys on D are good and they know it

Owen Scott, III

August 30th, 2013
9:48 am

Our tendency to come out shaky in the opener concerns me. On paper, we should beat Clemson due to our offensive experience and talent and their reduced number of offensive weapons. I think our defensive team could surprise us in a good way. South Carolina concerns me more, even though it’s Between the Hedges. Let’s play ‘em and see what we’ve got!

I-DOG

August 30th, 2013
9:50 am

We have to substitute on defense. I know that Grantham has an NFL mentality where the starters play a ton, particularly in the secondary, but you could see in the USC and Vandy vs. Ole Miss games that the heat and humidity of early games in the Southland are are a factor and guys are just amped in that first game. Clemson is probably going to move the ball some and score. Would love to see us moving guys in and out of the game even at safety where we are thin throughout that first half.

Go Dawgs!

ARdawg

August 30th, 2013
10:01 am

Owen, if the Dawgs come out looking like they did playing Boise or OSU Pokes, we certainly have a problem. All we have to compare such scenarios is the most recent which is Mizzou last year. Don’t expect perfection but, do expect the Dawgs to take care of business. Unlike most, I’m not at all worried about the defense. I think they’ll get it done. We only need one more point that Clemson and I’m feeling pretty good this offense is up to the task

Flo-Ri-Duh

August 30th, 2013
10:15 am

BS35 (aka Milk Dud) – Can you do anything besides whine and eat Milk Duds?
Try being positive for a change.

AltamahaDawg

August 30th, 2013
10:18 am

Fortunately, we do not even remotely resemble the team we took to Stillwater. Nor is this the same same team that just completely renovated its offense in the offseason, as we were against Boise. I don’t think one squad is a very good predictor of another one. We also killed those exact same team in openers too, which didn’t predict the next one.

However for different reason, we have plenty to worry about with this team. Independent of those.

Flo-Ri-Duh

August 30th, 2013
10:20 am

Buckeye isn’t really a Buckeye…….. more like a termite in a thinly put together disguise. If you knew any thing at all about football you would be dangerous. But you don’t and you aren’t. Go back to what you know – your Nintendo is waiting for you in the basement.

Bulldawg35

August 30th, 2013
10:22 am

P-man…

Comments like if we lose to Clemson….we can still have a great season….it will okay to lose to them. Didn’t u read the article…gee

UGA Insider

August 30th, 2013
10:22 am

Too much Gurley, Too much AM!

and too much LEONARD FLOYD!!

UGA 45
Clemson 17

Flo-Ri-Duh

August 30th, 2013
10:27 am

After all that HYPE on ESPN Clowney looked ordinary against N.C. last night. All American OT James Hurst dominated him most of the night one on one. Last night Clowney lost any chance he had of wining the Heisman.

PigIron

August 30th, 2013
10:34 am

I think it’s cute to talk about defensive players winning the Heisman.

Flo-Ri-Duh

August 30th, 2013
10:38 am

Amazed at how N.C. and All American OT James Hurst dominated Clowney last night for the most part one on one. Wore him down and out.

Tunsil looked good last night against Vandy after he was moved from guard to OT. A major factor in the Ole Miss come back in the 2nd half. Still don’t understand how Ole Miss got him away from UGA.
guess The much over hyped Nkimdiche, on the other hand, looked average at best.

ARdawg

August 30th, 2013
10:38 am

Alt
That was pretty much my point. What in your estimation is there to actually worry about? Frankly, I look forward to a young athletic defense as opposed to the under performing future Sunday stars from last year. Yes, individually they were great but, seldom did they astound as a unit.

This young group is going to get burnt a few times. Comes with the territory

Flo-Ri-Duh

August 30th, 2013
10:41 am

BS35 (aka Milk Dud) – No it’s not alright for the Dawgs to lose to an inferior ACC team – and they won’t. Vegas says Dawg’s win by 2 and I’ll take that!

indigodawg

August 30th, 2013
10:47 am

Clowney will show up next week. The media made him out to be somebody that he isn’t but he will still go #1 overall in the NFL Draft. I blame ESPN for creating hype machine after hype machine. Still don’t trust Grantham and his defense versus the Clemson offense. Good thing is we will find out soon. There should be no more excuses for him. He gets paid as an elite defensive coordinator and has yet to shut down a good offense.

Bulldawg35

August 30th, 2013
11:10 am

Flo- duh

Favoured by 2 doesn’t mean anything……I think Clemson has the better defense….ultimately that’s whats going to get the tigers the victory

NCDawg

August 30th, 2013
11:11 am

Flo-Ri-Duh
August 30th, 2013
10:38 am

Ole Miss offered Tunsil’s girlfriend a full scholarship. It came down to UGA or me for the poor guy. That isn’t speculation eiether. She is there and she has a full scholarship… nothing hidden at all.

Again, it might be legal but it sho ain’t ethical.

NCDawg

August 30th, 2013
11:11 am

eiether? just damn… eiether=either

NCDawg

August 30th, 2013
11:25 am

My biggest concern ( I don’t worry ) is the morale of that young defense. Can they weather the storm? Clemson is going to come out ALL jacked up…and the crowd is going to be going crazy… each good play is going to sound like they won the National Championship. Can the young guys shrug it off? I think the young guys’ physical talent is going to be shocking, the question will be how well they stick to their assignments and how well they deal with mistakes. They will make mistakes… Clemson may or may not take advantage of them but can they get past that and move on to the next play?

I am really looking forward to seeing how our O-line looks. Can they be more physical? Can they be MEAN? Will Gurley be gaining 4-5 yards by sheer effort or will he have holes to exploit? If we can run the ball by just beating their line… Clemson is sunk. Their best D-lineman is gone so I don’t know how they will be matching up. Their DC is aggressive so I’m sure they will be attacking the line… can we use that against them? Those are the questions I ask myself any time I think about the game.

kingsfoil

August 30th, 2013
11:44 am

Bill,
Good analysis.
As someone who was destined to get hooked onto UGA football after Herschel forever etched himself into my memory as a young boy who was watching his first college football, I remember Clemson as being our biggest rival of the time. So this game to me has the feel of a heavyweight fight between two old-time traditional college football teams. Can’t wait!
Observation: I think the other advantage the Dawgs have is that despite the losses on defense to the draft they now KNOW what level of play it takes to be a champion, because they have gone toe-to-toe with the National Champs. I believe the leaders of this team expect everyone to now continue at this level. It showed in the second half of the Nebraska game when we took the game over against a great pass defense even with MMitchell on sidelines. Clemson on the other hand is fighting mainly for national respect, which is certainly motivation but is not to me as great a benefit as what the Dawgs have not only set their sights on (Nat’l champs) but experienced. Do you agree?

Bulldawg35

August 30th, 2013
11:46 am

My biggest fear is that offense will come out flat. Our defense will just get blitzed! Connor Norman…..I’m scared!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mobile Dawg

August 30th, 2013
11:58 am

If I’m coach, “my” defense comes out with a chip on their shoulder, not cocky, just confident.

As far as Clowney goes, it was mentioned, however briefly, that he might have had a bug. The kids just to good to have played like he played last night.

These Dawgs have a lot to prove, I predict they will do it, methodically and business like.

Touchdown Gurley

August 30th, 2013
11:58 am

I agree the running game will be key, especially with Clemson’s up-tempo offense potentially putting up a lot of points. A solid run game will give the defensive guys on our side a chance to rest plus wear down a less physical Clemson team.

Mobile Dawg

August 30th, 2013
11:58 am

A post eating blog for sure.

Touchdown Gurley

August 30th, 2013
12:00 pm

While LSU’s defense last year is better than ours is so far, Clemson’s run defense was absolutely torched by Jeremy Hill. Our line is better than it has been in years so I like our chances of gashing that run defense. Of course, we’ve got to stop Boyd too, which won’t be easy. Dawgs by 7 in a shootout.

Bulldawg35

August 30th, 2013
12:00 pm

I’m worried about our running game….If gurley goes down…we are in big trouble….no depth at the RB position…and no depth at the secondary!!!!! We are doomed! How did it get so bad that Connor is starting????????????????????????????!!!!!!

indigodawg

August 30th, 2013
12:28 pm

Blame the coaches for the lack of quality depth. There really is no excuse for walk-ons to be starting. Poor talent evaluation, not coaching them up, attrition, and injuries all contributed.

Vampire Bill

August 30th, 2013
12:50 pm

I’m hoping the difference will be our run game. Long 15 play drives keeping Boyd on the sidelines. Also Clemson may get a ton of passing yards but hopefully falter in the red zone. I look for the dawgs to be a much better 4th quarter team. GO DAWGS

WDE

August 30th, 2013
12:54 pm

I got a secret we have a tight end, that can block and catch…sssshhhhh don’t tell anybody. And lets see the Bama defense couldn’t stop Gurley from going for more than 100 yards…..hmmm Bama defense…..Clemson defense…….hmmmmm.

P Dawg

August 30th, 2013
1:10 pm

Jamie Ponsoldt…haven’t heard that name in years. Congrats! Cedar Shoals represent what what

BulldawgDave

August 30th, 2013
1:23 pm

Y’all do know that Boston College, Ga Tech, Florida State put upwards of 30 points on the Clemson defense. Heck, N. C. State scored 48 points on Clemson. I’m not worried about scoring at all. I’d just like to see the UGA defense to show me some resolve. I know Clemson will score, but let’s try and keep it in the 20’s. UGA should be close to 40 points by the clock hits “00: 00″.

BulldawgDave

August 30th, 2013
1:24 pm

Boston College only won 2 games last year and NC State wasn’t much better. UGA will score and score in bunches. It’s our defense……..

NCDawg

August 30th, 2013
1:42 pm

BulldawgDave – yeah but everybody says that Clemson’s defense was improving at the end of the year. They looked ok against LSU… given LSU couldn’t throw the ball effectively. Mettenberger got sacked like 4 or 5 X in the first half. I know we can score on them… and most everybody is pretty sure we can score on them… they just want to control the clock to keep their offense off the field.

I don’t care how we do it, I just want to score a bunch of points. If that leads to a 56-49 shootout win so be it. Their offense is NOT better than ours. Period. We have more balance by far. They run a ton of plays and that is how they get their yardage. They wear people out with their tempo.
And even with the young guys in the secondary, their defense is not more talented than ours.

I said it before on a neutral field this is a 2 TD win easily. But it’s at their place and that is the X factor.

I-DOG

August 30th, 2013
2:02 pm

NC Dawg:

Agree. None of us would be surprised if Clemson scores a time or two early, maybe it is a long drive or maybe it is one big play. The young defenders have to be resilient and understand that Georgia should be able to score and Clemson is expected to have some success against us offensively.

Can the D create some turnovers or sacks and get off the field enough for the offense to win the game. At least that is how I view this first game.

Touchdown Gurley

August 30th, 2013
2:18 pm

Clemson has a stud quarterback and a very good offensive coordinator, but people seem to be forgetting they lost their 1,000 running back Ellington to graduation… I’m not sure they will have much of a running game besides Boyd running draws. And that could wear him down possibly.

I think Georgia’s best game plan will be to pound Clemson’s front 7 with Gurley, Hicks and our offensive line. Let’s wear them down and get their defense totally out of breath before the fourth quarter even starts. Aaron will do just find, but pounding them with the run will be an area I think we have the advantage in. Does anyone remember the Ole Miss game last year? They stacked the box against Gurley and blitzed Murray like crazy in the first half. It worked for a while, but then Murray torched their secondary for over 350 yards I believe. I think if they try to stop our run, make them prove they can. After a while, we can kill them downfield to Mitchell, Bennett and Conley. But let’s use the area that we have the advantage, while also allowing our defense to rest.

Touchdown Gurley

August 30th, 2013
2:20 pm

Clemson’s defense has a lot to prove themselves and they have injuries in their secondary as well, in case you guys hadn’t heard. Their star recruit and freshman cornerback is injured and will almost certainly miss this game. South Carolina will be a very tough game for us, but one game at a time. Gooo dawgs! I say we take it 38-30.

Pago Pago Dawg

August 30th, 2013
2:53 pm

We’ve had 10 years of Top Ten recruiting and still can’t win The Big One.

destin dawg

August 30th, 2013
3:13 pm

I have been disappointed in Grantham’s defense last year with all the star power…. much of it ( I think ) was due to poor D line play… Rodney Garner to blame… I think Chris Wilson will be a big improvement…. will see in the next 2 weeks…. Grantham needs to earn his Big Pay check THIS Year !!!!! Go Dawgs !!!!!

PigIron

August 30th, 2013
4:01 pm

There seems to be a consensus that Georgia’s ideal game plan would be to move the chains with a time consuming rush based offensive scheme. That’ll be something to watch for.

Everyone’s guessing scores and whatnot. Who do you guys think will get the ball first? What do you think the first play from scrimmage will be?

dawgfan

August 30th, 2013
4:06 pm

I say we lose this one and then “turn it around” and beat the pants off of Florida leaving everyone to scratch their heads why in the hell we couldn’t play like that to begin with. That’s Mark Richt football, isn’t it? All the homers will be full of excuses about what tremendous obstacles Richt had to face to open the season. They’ll be high as a kite to play in the Outback/Cap One bowl again.

Thanks.

indigodawg

August 30th, 2013
4:07 pm

PigIron, I would go play action hard to Gurley and throw it downfield to MoneyMitch_26 but Bobo will probably do a halfback toss to Gurley for 4-5 yards which is fine with me.