It’s been hard to escape any talk of the...to borrow the overused cliche...’renewed rivalry’ on Saturday night in the Queen City between Georgia and Clemson.
When it comes down to it, we as Georgia fans will either be excited or jumping to conclusions with disappointmentment early Sunday morning depending on Saturday night’s result.
Here are three keys to a Georgia win.
Don’t get blown off the corners
We’re going to find out how ready for prime time that the new additions to Georgia’s secondary are. Eric Stokes and Tyson Campbell won’t be walking through that door on Saturday night unless they are on the sidelines as spectators. Next to Alabama, Clemson’s receivers are probably the most consistently good and physical group at this position nationwide. That level of play will be key for Clemson to take pressure off things regardless of if they rotate the quarterback or not. It’s critical for Georgia to take away that edge and not give up a lot of big plays.
Win the trenches
We don’t know for sure if Warren Ericson will line up at center or not. Kirby Smart is wisely being coy about that, not shockingly. Regardless, one thing Georgia cannot afford to do is to allow Clemson’s fearsome defensive line to clog up run lines. It cannot afford for JT Daniels to have little time to throw. This may be the Georgia offensive line’s biggest test of the season. If we don’t spend the game talking about Georgia’s offensive line being dominated, that’ll mean that Clemson’s defensive line is a non-factor, making it easier for Zamir White and Kendall Milton to eat up yards and time off the clock.
Don’t get wide-eyed
By and large, this is the biggest game for Georgia, atmosphere-wise since the 2018 SEC title game. It’s an environment that Clemson is used to but many Georgia players, due to youth, have not been through in person yet. One thing Georgia cannot afford to do is to let the moment overwhelm them and make mental mistakes early on and get into an early hole.