Clemson comes off an 11-2 season in 2012. The Tigers hadn't won 11 games in thirty years before this season. Clemson finished the year beating LSU in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl with the kind of win that can define the direction for a young program. Now Georgia to open up the season; a third straight SEC opponent.
Chad Morris will face the second SEC defense in row against Georgia.
Clemson starts 2013 reviving one of the great old rivalries in college football with Georgia. Both schools will likely be ranked in the top 10 and this has to be a pretty good candidate for ESPN Gameday right?
This is a rivalry that brought the thrillers of when Georgia wins with Musburger saying “Who killed Clemson? The Butler did it” with a long field goal as time expires in 1984. In 1986 David Treadwell would give Clemson revenge as the Tigers returned the favor.
Clemson coach Danny Ford was 4-5-1 against Georgia. All of the games Ford coached were by ten points or less except one. The games by and large were all tough and physical games that came down to the fourth quarter. Clemson has lost five straight to Georgia with the last meeting a 30-0 blowout by the Dawgs in Death Valley.
Way too early look
Georgia comes in to 2013 losing these players on defense: John Jenkins, Jarvis Jones, Alec Ogletree, Christian Robinson, Kwame Geathers, Shawn Williams, Sanders Commings, Bacarri Rambo and Mike Gilliard. Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has his work cut out for him in 2013.
This won’t bode well for Georgia when they come to Death Valley. Clemson returns (likely) Tajh Boyd, Sammy Watkins, Charone Peake, Martavis Bryant, Adam Humphries, Germone Hopper Roderick McDowell, Zach Brooks and four starting offensive linemen.
Clemson should have the upper hand vs Georgia’s defense on many fronts. With new starters all over the field Georgia will be tested every play and replacing that many holes won't be easy game one. After watching what Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris was able to against LSU I’ll give the edge here to Morris. A hunch tells me all the Sammy Watkins doubters will be change their tune after this game.
Georgia’s offense will feature dynamic quarterback Aaron Murray and a loaded backfield with Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall. Georgia is very capable on offense. Can Clemson stop the Georgia running game? Georgia returns a big offensive line. If the Tigers can’t stop the run it could be a long game. Georgia’s success on offense is predicated on the run game despite being multiple.
Todd Grantham loses 9 on his defense to graduation and the NFL.
We know Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray is returning and assuming Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd returns this game will feature two of if not the two best quarterbacks in the nation next year. Pretty fair to say these two may wind up on Heisman lists as well. This has the making of one of those battles college football fans will remember.