Opening thoughts about the opener

Some openers are easier to get a handle on than others.  The Clemson game isn’t one of those, because of several key departures/suspensions on both sides of the ball for both schools.

  • If last year was a battle of the offensive superstars – Boyd!  Murray!  Gurley!  Watkins! – tomorrow’s game shapes up as a battle of the coordinators.  No doubt Chad Morris would like to go TAMU all over the Georgia defense’s ass and no doubt we’d like to see Jeremy Pruitt prove that he’s not all about having superstar talent at FSU.
  • That being said, Todd Gurley.
  • One big reason the line has stayed over a touchdown is where the game is being played.  It’s not just about the emotion of the crowd, either.  Hopefully the noise will disrupt the Clemson offense and the Georgia offensive line can avoid the mistakes that bogged the offense down at times last year.  Not to mention Mason should have more confidence getting his first start in a friendly stadium.
  • Gurley may be the biggest name on the field – although Vic Beasley looks like a sure-fire first round NFL talent to me – but this game I think comes down to which offensive line manages to hold its own the best.  I have no idea which line that is.
  • Another big flip worth keeping in the back of your head is the kicking game.  This year, it’s Clemson that has to replace a starting place kicker.  Georgia gets to come out of the gate with Marshall Morgan.
  • If there was a drinking game for tomorrow, it would have to include taking a shot every time an announcer describes one of the starting quarterbacks as waiting patiently for his turn, wouldn’t it?
  • I’m not going to miss Tajh Boyd’s running one bit.  But I hope the Georgia defense is prepared for Deshaun Watson’s.
  • I know job one for the Tigers’ defense is Todd Gurley, but, barring a turnover fest, can Clemson win this game without being able to run the ball successfully?  I don’t think so.
  • It’s going to be humid and in the 90s, so I hope all that talk about improved conditioning and substitution wasn’t just talk.  South Carolina wilted under the pressure of TAMU running 99 plays last night and you know Morris wouldn’t mind duplicating the experience.
  • Boy, would I love for tomorrow night to be Isaiah McKenzie’s coming out party.  I don’t think he’ll get a lot of touches, but he’s going to get a few shots in the return game and on offense, too.
  • Let’s hope nobody gets hurt celebrating a touchdown this year.
  • I don’t think this is going to be a low-scoring affair, because I don’t think Georgia will be able to protect its vulnerable secondary for the entire game and because Bobo worked Venables pretty good in last year’s game.  But I’m not expecting a score in the mid-70s, either.

You guys have any other thoughts?

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39 Comments

Filed under Clemson: Auburn With A Lake, Georgia Football

39 responses to “Opening thoughts about the opener

  1. Rick

    Apologies for off-topic first comment Senator, but the first quote in this story is just begging for one of your pithy headlines.

  2. Noonan

    I remember that one fateful day when Coach took me aside. I knew what was coming. “You don’t have to tell me,” I said. “I’m off the team, aren’t I?” “Well,” said Coach, “you never were really ON the team. You made that uniform you’re wearing out of rags and towels, and your helmet is a toy space helmet. You show up at practice and then either steal the ball and make us chase you to get it back, or you try to tackle people at inappropriate times.” It was all true what he was saying. And yet, I thought something is brewing inside the head of this Coach. He sees something in me, some kind of raw talent that he can mold. But that’s when I felt the handcuffs go on.

  3. DugLite

    Dawgs 34-10

    • Gravidy

      I would love to see this happen, but I don’t see any way the UGA defense will limit the Clemson offense to 10 points. I think UGA will win a close, but fairly high-scoring game.

  4. Irwin R Fletcher

    Two names I want to hear on Saturday…Jordan Jenkins and Leonard Floyd.

    Clemson’s o-line is so inexperienced. It seems ‘too obvious’, but that’s an area where Georgia needs to really exploit an advantage.

    Two other names not mentioned who I think may impact the outcome…Keith Marshall and Lorenzo Carter.

  5. awreed79

    I don’t care. I’m ranked #1 in the Fabris Pool. This season has already turned out to be more than I expected. Go Dawgs and Go Me!

  6. charlottedawg

    Todd Gurley and the o line vs Clemson front 7
    Turnovers
    can Pruitt protect his dumpster fire of a secondary against a green Chad Morris offense

    Win Georgia, draw, draw. Georgia 31 Clemson 24, 27

  7. Beakerdawg

    I look forward to a quicker start to the game vs. the absurd pre-game bus ride by the hilljacks of high country carolina.
    If we win big like “A&M big” over these toolbags, will we be too overconfident when we have to go across the lake to face the ol’ ball coach and the game that will really define our season…?
    What am I talking about, just win. I’m delusional. I need game time to get here….

  8. HVL Dawg

    I’m trying to remember my self imposed drinking limit during ball games. Was it 2 doubles per quarter for the 1st half, one at half time and one per quarter for the second half?

    Win or lose. I’ll be drunk.

  9. hassan

    The game can go either way, but however it falls, it won’t be close. We will either win big or lose big.

    As a result, a lot will be made of so and so’s offense or so and so’s defense. But the game will really be decided by special teams and field position. Somebody is going to be working/defending the short field too much and that will be the difference maker.

  10. AusDawg85

    Georgia: Gurley, DL, OL that is not as bad as feared, Bobo (yes, Bobo!), Mason has been under fire and is ready, stable of RB’s and WR’s, Morgan, Evil Richt (trick play is coming…guaranteed), Pruit (if nothing else, gets DB’s to not let anyone get behind them)

    Clemson: Really? They’re F***ing Clempsun. Nothing sucks like a big orange. We correct last year’s mistake.

    UGA 41 – Farmers 24

  11. Timphd

    My dream: Dawgs win, no Dawgs get hurt. That is all I ask. Not too much is it? Don’t care if it’s an ugly win or beautiful win. Just win and have the full complement of starters for Sakerlina.

  12. Cousin Eddie

    I hope McKenzie only gets one chance to return a kick-off, punts on the other hand….

  13. SouthGaDawg

    I’m worried that the total points will be 60+ (maybe, last night scared me). Also, speaking of drinking games, it’s a good thing I didn’t play the Johnny Football Drinking Game last night. I bet Brent said Johnnnyyy 100 times during the course of the game. I would’ve had to lay out of work this morning.

  14. UGAIII

    Bout to hop a plane. Call it a chance of a lifetime or bucket list or Mecca or whatever, but my wife and kids said “Go!” Hope Cojones brownies are kind.

  15. Cojones

    Senator, your posts seem to show that you are as nervous as most of us. Have a good day tomorrow, party hardy at Lot 29 and scream your lungs out. Those activities are good for nervousness.

    Hope my rep, Jason, gets there.

    SIC’EM DAWGS!

  16. Rebar

    Not uncomfortable at all; I think the Dawgs open a can of whoop-ass on the tigers. This is our house and we owe them one for last year.

  17. MinnesotaDawg

    Have a feeling the score is going to be lower than expected–something like 24-21. After some early success throwing the ball, Georgia’s going to play it conservatively on first and second down with Gurley and Marshall on the ground–trying to drain the clock (and limit Clemson’s possessions). This will allow Clemson back in the game and make us all very nervous. Just don’t know but hoping like hell we end up with more points.

    • JCDAWG83

      I’m thinking 34-30 with us having to stop them late in the fourth to hold on to win. I still lack confidence in our O line when it comes to opening holes for runners and I think we see a lot of Deshaun Watson, especially if Clemson gets behind.

  18. Big Shock

    Really hoping for repeat for the 2003 UGA-Clemson game. Thought it would be tight and UGA wins 30-0. This year’s off-season happy talk seems very different than past years. Rather than just the usual “guys are really working hard/best participation I’ve ever seen” rhetoric, this year seems to have real substance. More reps. More attention to detail. Better communication. I’m really hoping to see it show up tomorrow. I’m still highly skeptical on Mason and his arm strength. Would love to see Rome stay healthy and live up to his potential this season. Expecting a lot out of the defensive front and the running backs. Really just excited for the season to get here. Maybe with the addition of Pruitt, I’ve followed the off-season more closely than usual or maybe there has been a lot more press coverage than usual. Whatever the reason, it seems like the off-season has lasted two or three years. Glad that we can analyze some play on the field rather than sit at our desks and speculate.

  19. If there was a drinking game for tomorrow, it would have to include taking a shot every time an announcer describes one of the starting quarterbacks as waiting patiently for his turn, wouldn’t it?

    We’d be ripped by kickoff. And we’d all be passed out by the end of the 1st quarter.
    ~~~

  20. After watching last nights game I am having nightmares that we get no pass rush and an older, but inexperienced Qb picks apart a weak inexperienced secondary.

    Mean while our OL cannot generate any ground game, we end up one dimensional and mason throws a couple picks.

    • .Dash

      Yep. God does this feel like a certain loss. Our secondary has virtually ZERO experience. Even Saban’s secondaries struggle when they’re this green, and he has nothing but 5 star talent. Not to mention our new coach has only been on the case for 8 months.

      My real fear is that Mason isn’t nearly as prepared for this gig as we think. I think we’re all underestimating just how talented and composed Murray was (truly one our all time greats), and Mason hasn’t exactly set the world on fire in his two starts. I’d feel a whole lot better if either JSW or Mitchell were healthy, but they’re not. So without a true deep threat, we’re left mostly one-dimensional.

      The only think that’s giving me hope is the potential wrecking crew of Jenkins, Floyd, and Carter going up against Clemson’s inexperienced OL. IF they can get consistent pressure, particularly on 3rd down, we might have a shot to take this game.

  21. Chuck

    Who has a game more suited to playing in the rain looks like it might become very important.

    • MinnesotaDawg

      Oh, great. I HATE weather games….especially as a favorite….especially at home…especially after watching Mason throw the ball in the rain at the Gator Bowl. Oh well.

      • Mason had a pretty good game in the rain against an excellent secondary while having limited offensive weapons. He had a lot if drops and little OL help.

        • MinnesotaDawg

          He did get better as the game went along, and there was sloppy play all around by the Dawgs. Can’t help but think that in regular conditions, we would have won by a couple TDs (after watching Murray light their secondary up for over 400 yards the previous year, I’m skeptical of their excellence). Regardless, time to move on and make some good memories.

      • Cojones

        MD – How much experience in the rain has their QB had? It may be to our advantage.

        • MinnesotaDawg

          You’re right. I hope so. Just think that an away, underdog might welcome weather issues. Tends to minimize talent advantages (which I think we have) and can dampen crowd enthusiasm/noise.

  22. It’s going to be humid and in the 90s, so I hope all that talk about improved conditioning and substitution wasn’t just talk …

    I hope so too. We’ll find out. I do think we’ll play a lot of guys on defense, even in the secondary. And part of that will be because of the heat/humidity.

    I think we’ll probably play 10 guys in the secondary, and maybe one or two more. I know that sounds like a lot, and it is. Very unusual. But I think Sanders, Fenteng, Parrish, Rico, Bowman, Dawson, Swann, Davis, Moore, and Mauger will play. And maybe Redd.

    I hope we substitute liberally on the DL and the LB’s, all positions. Pruitt won’t put them out there unless they have a good chance to play well, so the more the merrier.
    ~~~

    • I meant to put JJ Green in there, but instead put Dawson. Dawson may play, but only if we get really comfortable late in the game, IMO. Green will either start of play a lot, I feel sure. Dawson and Redd are the other two I was thinking of who have an outside chance to play.
      ~~~

    • I do think we’ll play a lot of guys on defense, even in the secondary. And part of that will be because of the heat/humidity … I think we’ll probably play 10 guys in the secondary, and maybe one or two more. I know that sounds like a lot, and it is. Very unusual. But I think Sanders, Fenteng, Parrish, Rico, Bowman, Green, Dawson, Swann, Davis, Moore, and Mauger will play. And maybe Redd. I hope we substitute liberally on the DL and the LB’s, all positions … the more the merrier.

      <br />I was wrong about Fenteng and Parrish.  Neither played, which surprised me.  And Bowman did start, though I didn't think he would.  All the others played, but I'm not sure Green, Dawson or Redd got defensive snaps.  Have to go watch the film.  The rest did, so we played at least 7 back there.
      
      We did play a lot of guys on defense, at all 3 levels, which I thought was key in the game, as it will be in Columbia.  Kimbrough showed what he can do, Carter played well, and the secondary all played multiple positions.
      
      All in all, a great start.
      
      • No idea what happened above … I’ll try one more time.

        I do think we’ll play a lot of guys on defense, even in the secondary. And part of that will be because of the heat/humidity … I think we’ll probably play 10 guys in the secondary, and maybe one or two more. I know that sounds like a lot, and it is. Very unusual. But I think Sanders, Fenteng, Parrish, Rico, Bowman, Green, Dawson, Swann, Davis, Moore, and Mauger will play. And maybe Redd. I hope we substitute liberally on the DL and the LB’s, all positions … the more the merrier.

        I was wrong about Fenteng and Parrish. Neither played, which surprised me. And Bowman did start, though I didn’t think he would. All the others played, but I’m not sure Green, Dawson or Redd got defensive snaps. Have to go watch the film. The rest did, so we played at least 7 back there.

        We did play a lot of guys on defense, at all 3 levels, which I thought was key in the game, as it will be in Columbia. Kimbrough showed what he can do, Carter played well, and the secondary all played multiple positions.

        All in all, a great start.
        ~~~

  23. Will (the other one)

    I’d be happy with a win and no injuries. Our track record when we beat Clemson and Richt’s our coach (small sample size alert) is certainly encouraging.

  24. Mayor

    This game just got a lot bigger after South Carolina got exposed by aTm. If UGA can beat Clemmons there is a good chance the Dawgs will be undefeated going to Columbia, MO. If they can get past Mizzou…..