Random thoughts on the opener

In no particular order:

First, maybe it’s just me, but does anyone else find it a little strange that the general consensus is that the game should be a moderately scoring affair?  The over/under is 52 and most of the projections I’ve seen have both teams under thirty points.  Clemson averaged better than 40 points a game last season.  Georgia, in its last four games, averaged over 37.  It’s an era of explosive offenses and yet we’re expecting the defenses to hold their own?

Second, earlier in the offseason, I had this fantasy in my head that maybe, just maybe, the Clemson game that would wind up truly resonating in the aftermath of the opener wasn’t played by Georgia.  It was Alabama’s coming out party in 2008, when Nick Saban let everyone know he had that program back on track to become the monster that we all know now.  Yeah, the circumstances aren’t the same, but there’s a guy in Butts-Mehre who knows exactly how it felt at the time, which is why I find this Seth Emerson observation ($$) interesting:

But there’s something about Kirby Smart’s demeanor this preseason, more relaxed than usual, and the sense I’ve gotten within the program that the Bulldogs are antsy to make a national statement.

Well, Georgia may be antsy, but the Dawgs aren’t playing against air.  And that brings me to point number three, a Josh Kendall take from the same piece.

If the game is played between the tackles, Dawgs win. If it’s played on the edge, Tigers win. Tony Elliott is pretty good at making people play where he wants them to…

That is a simple, elegant way of combining the twin points about overall line play determining the outcome, together with this morning’s post about the size of Clemson’s receivers and Smart’s concern about perimeter blocking.  Is Georgia’s defense good enough to force Clemson’s offense where it doesn’t want to go on a consistent basis?

55 Comments

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55 responses to “Random thoughts on the opener

  1. So, I actually agree with the over/under and think the game is lower scoring (and uglier) than what we’ve come to know in big games. Both OL units seem like they’re up against in this weekend — though Clemson’s OL seems like it’s in more trouble than UGA’s. I think the reports out of both camps that the QB play hasn’t been stellar (not to say bad, just not walking-up-and-down-the-field good) also has something to do with the line. I have it 26-23 UGA as I think both defenses keep the opponent out of the end zone a few times and make them settle for 3s when 8 weeks from now both offenses might put up 35+ on one another.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I think victory lies exactly right there…our defense has to control and limit their offense…with our receiving corps injuries stacking up like cord wood for this game…I’m not sold that we can go head to head in an offensive shoot out…not until we heal up

    Liked by 3 people

    • RangerRuss

      At least the injuries occurred weeks before allowing Monken to scheme around the lost personnel. Washington will be particularly missed.

      Liked by 10 people

      • Tru dat you wild eyed, crazy sumbitch…and after those receivers heal (some mentally & some physically) our offense will be ready to unleash the Phil Mc Kracken

        Liked by 3 people

        • RangerRuss

          FD, that’s an apt description as I have been a bit squirrely this week. It’s the culmination of not months, but years of anticipation. I love hating on Clemson. In my day National Championships were decided by this game, which may be the case this year.
          I’ll not settle down until weeks after the end of the season or if the Dawgs lose. Shiiiiiit man, I won’t recall a loss as Agent D willed my wife his neuralyzer (that flashy thing. Day, month, year). Or you’d think as I don’t allow that to bother me. It doesn’t affect my cash flow.
          My confidence is as high as it has ever been. I agree that the Dawgs will get better as the season progresses. A lot of green but talented players in the D secondary and O line who will benefit from from the experience of mauling the SEC East.

          Clemson sucks.

          Liked by 7 people

          • rigger92

            Got my second squirrel of the day today outta my got damn pecan trees.

            As usual, won’t get any pecans this year. Squirrels take em all. Using a Marlin model 25 bolt action .22LR with subsonic rounds at ~100 yards with iron sights is a bitch. Problem is, there are usually 6-10 tree rats in the thing. After the trees are bare I still open up on them, easier to spot them when the leaves are gone. Nice to have 10 acres of open land behind us.

            Clemson sucks. We gon get ‘em. I am legal to use any round I want, the subsonic is a courtesy to the neighbors. Damn tightwads call the cops when I break out shotguns and AR action. I made a pistol range years ago, used it twice, “hello Sherrif, yeah we are safe”.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Got Cowdog

              Since you brought it up…Savage makes an inexpensive package. Check out the 822 with the Vortex made for it… Deadlier on squirrels than Karl, almost..

              Liked by 1 person

            • RangerRuss

              Damn, Riggermon. Talk about your double dose of suckage. My closest neighbors are often here shooting with me. This isn’t Hicksville either. Of course you wouldn’t believe that talking to the carpetbaggers across the creek. Folks about a mile behind me were shooting Tannerite one day. The ignorant ex-city girl calls to see if it was me, knowing I owned an explosives company and curious if had I gone crazy.
              “Let me tell you, lady. If I go ape shit ? You won’t have to call, you’ll know it’s me.”
              I was relating that conversation to her neighbor and gave her credit for at least not calling the popo on me.
              “She has called the sheriff and he told her that if she didn’t like that then she was going to hate dove season.”
              I find it peculiar how nice those transplants are when we meet unexpectedly at the lake or on walks.
              Mom says she hasn’t had a pecan from her trees since I left in ’79. Squirrels get rough treatment around hyuh. I was disappointed in the Remington subsonic.

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  3. uga97

    CKS more relaxed? Yea maybe in front of u.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Even Vegas has it at a fairly low scoring game — 52 for the O/U. The stats that you had on here earlier this week about Clemson being in the mid-50s nationally last year against the pass (and Georgia being even worse) make me think this will be a shootout.

    Like

  5. 81Dog

    I’ve thought about that 08 alabama-clemson game as a comparison point, too. It would be nice to have our opener be a statement game for us, instead of a talking point against us. I’m pretty sure if that occurred to me, it’s probably occurred to Kirby. I’m sure it will be a fistfight, but we seem to be built for that.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ran A

    The close we get to this game, the more my gut is telling me that Georgia may win this, maybe not with ease, but leaving little doubt which team is better. Say 10 points or so.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. CB

    I’m thinking about taking the under simply because all the high scoring from last season you referenced was accomplished against mostly poor defenses, and these two teams have good to great defenses.

    I also have no clue who will be catching passes for Georgia. Seems like every player on the roster who has ever played a significant snap as an eligible receiver in college is either out or hobbled. The Junkyard Dawgcast did about 20 minutes this week on what a big deal it was to have John Fitzpatrick back. He’s a solid player but if you’re relying on Fitz to carry the load as a pass catcher you’re probably not in the best position to light up the scoreboard.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. aim260

    How far do we get into the game before Skalski gets reviewed for spearing?

    Liked by 7 people

  9. moe pritchett

    IMHO the X factor is Jordan Davis v the clemzun center rotation. I can only think he completely disrupts the middle of their OL blocking schemes by taking up two or maybe even three guys in their middle. If they are unsettled at center that has to be a bad thing when looking across at JD99 et al. That is at least the battle I will be watching.

    Liked by 12 people

    • stoopnagle

      If they rotate centers they are fucked.

      Liked by 6 people

    • miltondawg

      I will be watching to see if Jordan Davis can wreak havoc in the middle as well. This is the season where big JD can move himself from a middle round draft pick to a first round draft pick with a big year. I’m sure he is well aware. The other thing on the defensive side of the ball I will be watching is whether or not Nolan Smith, in particular as the former number one player in the country, and/or Adam Anderson can turn into the pass rushing monsters we need on the edges.

      Liked by 4 people

  10. Jack Klompus

    Interestingly; they all pick the over.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Russ

    If Clemson tries to play the game on the edges, I think Mr. Smith and Mr. Anderson will have their say.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Terry McCullers

    Rumor has it that one of their defensive linemen may be out with COVID. As per 680 the fan

    Liked by 2 people

  13. uga97

    Kirby coming out party was ND on the Road,, Auburn SEC champ game, Rose Bowl & Bama 2017. Time to coach & getter done , even if the score is 2-0. The talent & depth match up is equal enough. No more excuses.

    Like

  14. sirjackshea1980

    “You’re so nervous that if someone shoved a lump of coal up your ass a diamond would pop out.” Thanks to Rick Wilson for describing my inner Munson.

    Liked by 4 people

  15. rigger92

    What’s the first play of the game for Clemson going to be? I hope it’s a pass play because I think the first time our front cracks their front they are going to be surprised and we may get a sack right out of the gate.

    Not sure why but I get the feeling from all those videos that get posted around here that we are going to have a bigger, faster, smarter squad and that is what Kirby has made in this team.

    I also get the feeling that dumbo Swinney doesn’t run practices as hard as Smart does.

    I also get the feeling that the brain trust that manages our D is more than equal to any opponent we face, probably better.

    Coach Luke is coaching for his job these past two weeks. Hope Monken is hard on him.

    S/T? I hope at least Cochran is available for discussions with Boom, or that Boom can continue what was working so well.

    Refs. I know our hearts are going to be crushed by a few DPI calls against us. If we take a lead going into the half I expect to see it get chippy and a few of their defenders hitting dirty, hopefully the refs will be on that.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. moe pritchett

    Sweet Jesus, just grant me this:
    If we do get a good lead, have Kirby step on their throats and crush their souls. We need this.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. 69Dawg

    Clemson uses misdirection all the time. I don’t think they will even try the middle. They will angle block all night. Our D just has to be ready not to get suckered into all the misdirection. ND and OSU both figured it out and contained it. The eyes of our D need to be right or it could be a long night. Munson Out.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Previously Paul

    I don’t think Clemson’s receivers run roughshod but I do think they will win more matchups than they lose. Without consistent pressure on the quarterback we’re probably screwed. Which why I hope the over/under is low. If we don’t score more than 40 I think we lose. Could be my inner Munson but that’s what I think.

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  19. 123 Fake St

    I’d take the under, because I think the game is going to be canceled due to COVID.

    There’s your unforeseen circumstance.

    Like

  20. 3rdandGrantham

    I actually see this is a 27 to 21 type of game in which the team reaches the 30’s. Look for us to run the ball a lot and keep possession, and earlier in the year offenses typically tend to be a little rustier than defenses, which I think will be the case here too.

    Like