BCS Game to Watch: Georgia vs. Clemsonby Fabian Ardaya on Aug. 29, 2013, under College Football
As a part of TC Sports’ new weekly series, we will be breaking down the top BCS and non-BCS conference games of the week. Our first BCS Game of the Week: a battle of top-10 teams shoot it out as #5 Georgia travels to #8 Clemson in a battle between Heisman hopefuls.
WHY CLEMSON WILL WIN: Clemson has had some of the country’s most athletic teams and electrifying offenses ever since head coach Dabo Swinney took over in 2008. Despite losing weapons Andre Ellington and DeAndre Hopkins to the NFL draft, the Tigers bring back star quarterback Tajh Boyd (3896 pass yds., 36 TDs, 13 INTs, 514 rushing yds., 10 TDs) and the electrifying receiver Sammy Watkins (57 rec., 708 yds., 3 TDs), and should continue to put up points at a rate that ranked them 9th in the country in total offense last year. The Tigers have not lost to a opening week opponent since they lost to the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Georgia Dome in 2008, which was also the last season Clemson began the year in the top 10. The Tigers went 11-2 last season, their highest win total since winning the 1981 National Championship, and will look to build off of expectations. Everyone in the country knows that Clemson can put some points up on the board, but now they look to emerge as national championship contenders, with the Heisman hopeful Boyd leading the charge. Clemson is 4-1 against SEC opponents other than South Carolina since 2008 (1-4 against South Carolina in that time)
WHY GEORGIA WILL WIN: While many may say that senior quarterback Aaron Murray is overrated, they must still remember that Murray was able to engineer a drive in the fourth quarter of the SEC Championship game that came up just a couple yards (and a couple seconds) short of a BCS National Championship game appearance. Georgia is a much more balanced team than Clemson, but they can boast their own stellar offense, finishing 22nd in the country in total offense. Murray is aided by running backs Todd Gurley (1,385 yards, 17 TDs) and Keith Marshall (759 yards, 8 TDs). Georgia also ranked 32nd in total defense, and are looking to finally take the next step into contention with Heisman hopeful Aaron Murray behind center. Georgia has won the last five in the series vs. Clemson (they last played in 2003. Georgia won 30-0 in Death Valley). Murray has started 41 straight games for the Bulldogs, and brings experience to an otherwise young unit. Georgia will look to stop a mediocre trend in season openers since 2008 (2-2, losses to Oklahoma State in 2009 and Boise State in 2011).
PREDICTION: Tajh Boyd and the Tiger’s offense will not be stopped in Death Valley will lead Clemson to a 42-34 victory, but not without a fight as the Bulldogs will surprise many with their own efficient offensive unit.
Clemson will host Georgia this Saturday, August 31st. The game will start at five o’clock Pacific Time and will be shown on ABC.