STS: Shakin' the Southland
DS: Dawg Sports
STS: Offseason shenanigans cost two Georgia safeties their scholarships and led to a few suspensions for both teams. Safety Tray Matthews has joined Auburn after he was dismissed from the Georgia football program due to behavioral issues. Likewise, Josh Harvey-Clemons was earlier dismissed and joined Louisville's program. Georgia also has a linebacker (Davin Bellamy) suspended. If Clemson QB Cole Stoudt has time to survey the defense and throw downfield, will Georgia's new starting defensive backs hold him in check?
DS: Not likely. Georgia will be relying on veteran corner Damian Swann, the only player who came into fall camp comfortably in possession of a starting spot. But after that it's a duke's mixture of unproven newcomers (freshmen Shaq Jones and Dominick Sanders, converted tailback J.J. Green, walk-on Aaron Davis, JUCO transfer Shattle Fenteng) and guys who've yet to live up to their potential (senior Corey Moore, junior Devin Bowman, sophomore Quincy Mauger). I think the Bulldog secondary will eventually take shape under new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, who's personally coaching the DBs, but I don't think it will be in week one.
The good news for Bulldog fans is that Stoudt won't have all day. Georgia has likely the top linebacking corps in the SEC with the two leading returning tacklers in the SEC in Amarlo Herrera and Ramik Wilson, along worth the team leader in sacks, Leonard Floyd. The front four (or three depending on the package) is also really talented, anchored by seniors Mike Thornton and Ray Drew and juniors Sterling Bailey, Chris Mayes, and James Deloach. Georgia will likely rotate as many as nine guys on that front, which will be key because it's going to be a hot one in Athens.
STS: Clemson has one offensive lineman suspended from the opener (OG David Beasley) and another who would have been suspended had he not elected to transfer (OT Shaq Anthony). While Clemson is bringing in an all-time great offensive line recruiting class, the current roster is a bit thin along the O-line, especially without Beasley (a potential starter) and Anthony (Clemson's only backup tackle). If Clemson's O-line is shaky, is the Bulldog defensive line in position to exploit that potential weakness?
DS: The Bulldog defensive line is maybe the deepest group on the team, other than the backfield of Todd Gurley and his five musketeers. Clemson is bringing in some good offensive linemen in this class, which is great, but I think that as the game wears on you're going to see the fresh legs of that Bulldog defensive line start to take a toll. Then at that point the inexperienced and thin Bulldog secondary will be gassed, so if you guys want to just chunk 'em up and see who comes down with it, be our guest.
STS: Finally, do you have a game day prediction for us?
DS: I think the home field advantage that helped push Clemson to victory last year flips this season in another contest between very evenly matched teams. 34-28 Georgia.