On the eve of Georgia’s long-awaited season opener against Clemson, we sat down with each of our staff to get their final predictions on the game.
Brooks Austin: Georgia 34, Clemson 31
To be one-hundred percent honest, I was planning on picking Clemson this week. But listening to all of the reports and phone calls from people close to the program during the lead-up to this ball game, I can't help but be swayed by the level of confidence around this Georgia program. Additionally, I think that for a four-quarter battle like I believe this football game will be, Georgia's overwhelming size advantage at the line of scrimmage will weigh a toll come the fourth quarter. There are plenty of match ups to pay close attention to, but the line of scrimmage — and subsequently who is winning it — will be the most important in this game.
Robert Crosby: Georgia 31, Clemson 21
A 10 point win for the Dawgs on Saturday would seem to many fans to be too good to be true. I think it’s a conservative estimate. The last time we saw the Dawgs offense was against Cincinnati in the Peach Bowl. Georgia was able to put up 24 points against a 13th ranked Bearcat defense, despite being without multiple starters. Clemson’s offense was only able to put up 28 points against the 59th ranked Ohio St. defense in their playoff game. Replacing Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne, and multiple starters along the offensive line, I don’t see them reaching that mark.
Evan Crowell: Georgia 34, Clemson 28
In my opinion, this game comes down to which offensive line keeps their quarterback clean. Both front-sevens are dominant, but it appears that the Bulldog staff has a high amount of confidence in their offensive line. Reports are that center Sedrick Van Pran Granger and guard Tate Ratledge are ready to enter starting roles, and if that is the case, then quarterback JT Daniels should be able to find a rhythm and play turnover-free football.
Andrew Carroll: Georgia 34, Clemson 20
A first look at that score will give away a false assumption of confidence. There is none. Most would believe that this should be a close game, but I do not believe that to be the case. There usually ends up being a team that pulls away from the other, though the early part of the game is highly competitive. I believe this game will be the same way. If you've followed DawgsDaily over the past several months, there is strong confidence and cohesiveness that this time has built that I cannot remember a Georgia team recently having. Moreover, I believe that the Georgia offensive line will be better able to stand up to the talent on the Clemson defensive line, than the vice-versa.
Harrison Reno: Clemson 31, Georgia 28
In the weeks leading up to fall camp, I thought the chances were high that Georgia would beat Clemson in week one. However, in the weeks since, the Dawgs sustained some injuries that will see potential key players absent from the field on September 4th. The absence of Arik Gilbert piles on a receiving core that is already without its "X-factor" George Pickens, who tore his ACL in the spring. Georgia's recent bad luck with injuries makes me pick the less banged-up Clemson squad for week one.
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