I don’t think I’m going out on a limb here to say that going 9 on 11 with your goal line defense isn’t likely to be a successful strategy very often.
In a move that comes as no surprise, Clemson names Deshaun Watson its starting quarterback.
He impressed the hell out of me when I saw him in the opener.
Dawgly tidbits for your dining pleasure…
Gawd, this sounds so much better coming from a Clemson player’s lips:
“I feel like 45 points in no way dictates our defense at all,” junior safety Robert Smith said. “Because I’ve seen how far we’ve come throughout the summer. We know we’re better than that.”
That’s a song we heard sung plenty of times last year.
Here’s an interesting factoid to digest.
Clemson’s defense may be better, but it’ll need to be.
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?
Shorter Andrea Adelson: Never mind that Clemson opens in Athens with last season’s offensive superstars gone, because the defense that gave up 545 yards to Georgia at home last year rules!