Week 1 of college football is finally here and there are several marquee matchups for fans to enjoy! No game has more at stake than #5 Georgia vs #3 Clemson on Saturday night at 7:30 Eastern Time. Oddsmakers expect a close game as Clemson is favored by only three points.
What can we expect from this Top 5 matchup? Let’s dig into each team and see who has the edge on both sides of the football.
QB Edge: Georgia
Both quarterbacks are legitimate playmakers but we have to give the edge to Georgia because of JT Daniels’ experience in big games. The former USC star only played in four games for Georgia last season but he lit up the skies with over 1,200 passing yards and ten touchdowns(Ourlads.com)! The Clemson secondary was suspect at times in 2020 so expect Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken to take some deep shots early on in this contest.
RB Edge: Georgia
Clemson has plenty of athletes but it appears they will have a running back by committee strategy. On the other hand, Zamir White of the Bulldogs is the most established tailback on the field for this matchup. White led Georgia in both rushing yards and rushing touchdowns a year ago.
WR Edge: Clemson
Georgia might have had the edge at receiver but George Pickens suffered a nasty knee injury during the offseason that leaves this unit reeling. Clemson has an NFL caliber wideout in Justyn Ross to help stretch out the Bulldogs defense. Ross missed all of last season due to a neck injury but he’s all systems go for 2021.
Defensive Line Edge: Toss Up
Both teams have stellar athletes along the defensive lines so this one is too close to call. Clemson has Tyler Davis and Brian Bresee as their two main run stoppers. Georgia has two huge run stuffers of their own in Jordan Davis and Devonte Wyatt.
LB Edge: Georgia
We’ll give a slight edge to Georgia in the linebackers department. Clemson has Baylon Spector and he had 64 tackles and 4.5 sacks last year. However, Georgia has two immensely talented linebackers in Adam Anderson (5.5 sacks in 2020) and Quay Walker.
Secondary Edge: Clemson
Both teams struggled at times against the pass in 2020 but both should be much better in 2021. We’ll give a slight edge to Clemson since Nolan Turner and Andrew Booth Jr. both have NFL type of ability. Georgia’s inexperienced wide receivers could have a hard time creating separation against Turner and Booth.
Special Teams Edge: Georgia
This was a tight race as both teams return their starting kickers and punters. However, Georgia kicker Jack Podlesny made 13 of 16 field goals last year and is slightly more accurate than Clemson’s B.T. Potter. Both teams have a good punter but Georgia’s Jake Camarda averaged 2.6 more yards than Clemson’s Will Spiers in 2020.
The return game portion of special teams is pretty much a wash. Kearis Jackson of Georgia has the most experience but Justyn Ross of Clemson has the most breakaway speed.