The college football season is fast approaching, so fans and oddsmakers are getting excited. The first week of the college football season offers a few big games. Among the biggest is the battle between Georgia Bulldogs and Clemson Tigers. Clemson will host Georgia on August 31 at 8:00 PM EST. That means a national audience will be tuning in to see the fun. How will the game go? Here is a preview of the game between Georgia and Clemson
The lines for this game are incredibly close. The sportsbooks are listing Clemson as a slight 1.5 point favorite over the Bulldogs. The moneyline has Clemson at +105 and Georgia at -125. The over/under for the game stands at 68, which means that most oddsmakers are anticipating a shootout. Given the lines for this game, expect some heavy betting.
What to watch for in Georgia
The Bulldogs came very close to knocking off Alabama in the SEC Championship Game. However, they fell just short of playing for the national title. Expect this team to be hungry, especially out of the gate. Quarterback Aaron Murray has proven that he can perform in big games, and he will have to do that again here. In 2012, this team ranked in the top 20 in points scored. A lot of that credit goes to Murray, who threw for 36 touchdowns and nearly 4,000 yards last season. In addition, this team can run the football. Todd Gurley became a breakout star, running for 17 touchdowns and 1,385 yards in 2012. Scoring won’t be an issue for this team.
Defensively, Georgia has to account for a number of losses. Linebackers Jarvis Jones and Alec Ogletree headline the departed defensive stars, leaving some fairly big voids for a group that ranked in the top 20 in points allowed last season. But like most SEC teams, Georgia can simply reload. Garrison Smith is back to make sure that the defensive front remains strong, and the secondary will be led by Damian Swann. There might be some growing pains, but the Georgia defense is still strong.
What to watch for in Clemson
The Tigers offense will go as quarterback Taj Boyd goes. The Heisman hopeful had similar passing numbers to those of Murray, and he can do more with his legs. He had three games last season with five touchdown passes, so he can certainly put up big numbers. Lucky for Boyd, he has a pair of stud receivers in Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins. Both are capable of making a big play at any point. This team ranked in the top 10 in the nation in points scored, and they won’t slip much in 2013.
Defensively, the Tigers have more questions. They ranked a modest 48th in points allowed last season, and there’s not much to be excited about. Even when Clemson wins, they give up a lot of points. They yielded more than 30 points four times last season, and only one of those games was a loss. For them to have any chance against Georgia, the defense has to be better. The talent is there, and a year of experience should help. But thinking that Clemson can stop Georgia enough to win this game might be a long shot.
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