There might not be a bigger out-of-conference matchup than the one that will take place between No. 3 Clemson and No. 5 Georgia to open the season.
After Clemson's season-ending loss to Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl, a game in which the Tigers were soundly beaten on both sides of the ball, many have pointed towards the week one matchup in Charlotte as a chance for Dabo Swinney's team to prove that what happened in New Orleans was just an anomaly.
Heading into the season, there might not be a position group on the Clemson roster getting more attention than the defensive line. The matchup between Brent Venables front four and the Georgia offensive line might be worth the price of admission alone.
However, the Tigers aren't concerned with the hype, according to K.J. Henry. The redshirt junior, who started six games last season, insists the Bulldogs are just another faceless opponent.
"This is talking season, so that's kind of funny when you hear the hype," Henry said. "That's not really what it's about for us."
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At the same time, Henry said the Tigers defense is fully aware of what kind of challenge lies ahead.
"We know we're gonna have a great competition coming in week one," Henry said. "A great challenge. One of the best O-Lines in the country."
Henry said the Tigers aren't trying to live up to anyone else's expectations and at the end of the day the matchup against the Bulldogs is just one game. While it will be a good measuring stick for where the team stands early on in the season, Henry chooses to focus on the bigger picture, and how the collective group performs over the entire season.
"We're just trying to try and prove ourselves at the end of the day," Henry said. "I think that's what we had a great time working on so far. September 4 we'll have a great test of what we've accomplished over the summer, how hard we worked. But the hype, we'll see what it's worth by the end of the season."
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