No. 16 Clemson at No. 12 Georgia (-7.5) TV: ESPN 5:30 pm Saturday
Daniel: Clemson’s powerful defensive line against Georgia’s loaded group of running backs is the matchup to watch in this game. NFL scouts will be furiously scribbling as the likes of Clemson DE Vic Beasley and Georgia RB Todd Gurley collide. If Georgia can find some breathing room in that battle, I really like its chances. It’s just hard to envision Clemson marching into Athens in the first game of the post-Tajh Boyd/Sammy Watkins era and pulling out a win. Winner: Georgia, 24-17
Houston: Georgia gets a revenge game after Clemson took the season opener last year in Death Valley against the Bulldogs by a score of 38-35. This game looks completely different than last year’s version but I expect the home team to come out on top once again. The Bulldog defense may give up some plays under new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt but Clemson’s losses on offense are just too many. Georgia will control the game on the ground behind Todd Gurley Keith Marshall and win by double digits. Winner: Georgia, 31-21.
Reed: There’s just no way the Bulldogs lose this one. They bring back a loaded defense which will be much improved under new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt and that defense will be able to frustrate an inexperienced Clemson offense. Clemson’s defense is a bit underrated but Todd Gurley and new QB Hutson Mason, who has a ton of weapons at receiver, will score enough to avenge last year’s loss. Winner: Bulldogs, 31-20.
Zach: Clemson started last season in a blaze of glory, knocking off Georgia on opening day. The Tigers won six in a row to start the season, before finally “Clemsoning” against eventual national champions Florida State. Clemson lost star wide receiver Sammy Watkins and quarterback Tajh Boyd from their 2013 squad. So that gives the edge to Georgia, right? Not so fast my friend! The Tigers are returning a veteran defensive line and secondary that could give first-year Georgia starting quarterback Hutson Mason a fit. I think Clemson pulls off a close upset in Athens. Winner: Clemson, 28-24.