Clemson travels to Georgina in a rematch of a Week 1 game last season. Clemson defeated Georgia 38-35 in an instant classic in 2013. The Tigers looked like they were a national champion contenders after that game but those dreams were crushed by Florida State in the middle of the season. Georgia appeared to get back on track after that game with wins against South Carolina and LSU in September. However, injuries plagued the offense the Bulldogs finished an uncharacteristic 8-5.
Date: Saturday, Aug. 30
Time: 5:30 p.m. E.T.
TV Channel: ESPN
Location: Sanford Stadium (Athens, GA)
Betting Line: Georgia -7.5 via 5Dimes
Prediction: Both schools graduated four-year starting quarterbacks. Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd threw three touchdowns and rushed for two more in last season’s game against Georgia. His top receiver Sammy Watkins left Clemson early and was drafted fourth overall by the Buffalo Bills. Career backup Cole Stoudt gets the nod as Clemson starting quarterback. Vic Beasley is the star of the Tigers defense but it’s not a very strong unit.
Georgia replaces Aaron Murray with senior Hudson Mason. Murray tore his ACL last year, which opened the door for Mason to start the regular season finale at Georgia Tech and the bowl game against Nebraska. Junior running back Todd Gurley is back and could have a big evening against Clemson.
An underrated storyline in this game is Georgia’s new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt. He held the same role at Florida State last season and had great success against Clemson’s offense in the 2013 meeting. Pruitt has to be excited to game plan against a familiar opponent in his first game at Georgia. The Bulldogs return linebackers Ramik Wilson and Amarlo Herrera, who both recorded over 100 tackles last season. The Bulldogs and Pruitt will pressure Stoudt early in a hostile environment. We will take the home team Georgia to cover the spread.