And so it begins. We're nearing kickoff between the hedges between the 12th ranked Georgia Bulldogs and the visiting 16th ranked Clemson Tigers. A few things to watch for:
- Which untested veteran QB shakes the jitters first? Both Hutson Mason and Cole Stoudt have a lot to prove in this game, and one imagines that both are going to be pretty jacked up to start. Whichever of the two signal callers gets past his initial adrenaline rush first gives his team a decided advantage.
- Breakdowns: Go ahead and give 'em to me. The Bulldog defense is going to screw up large at some point early in this one. It's just inevitable. We have too many new guys in new positions in a new scheme to play flawlessly out of the gate. The big questions are: 1) can Chad Morris and Clemson make us pay for our mistakes, and 2) how quickly will we recover from them? If the answer to the first is "no" or the answer to the second is "quicker than you'd think" then I like the Dawgs' chances.
- Can the Red and Black offensive line put up, or is it time to shut up? A lot of Bulldog fans were not particularly distraught at the loss of Dallas Lee, Chris Burnette, and Ken Gates from last year's unit. Let's be honest, you would like for an OL unit with that much senior leadership to have been a little more consistent. But to be fair, there was really nothing those guys could do to help John Theus (or anyone really) block Dee Ford. And losing Todd Gurley made them look a lot more pedestrian than they probably were. That guy could make me look passable as a run blocker. I'm interested to see if John Theus has indeed grown into the left tackle spot, and whether Greg Pyke really has turned the corner. If so, the future may be pretty bright for this group. We'll know a lot more soon, because this Clemson defensive line may be as good a group as they'll face.
But enough questions. Let's get some answers. IT'S SATURDAY IN ATHENS!!!