Georgia football: Three simple reasons Dawgs will stun the Tigers

Kelee Ringo warms up prior to the G-Day spring game. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Kelee Ringo warms up prior to the G-Day spring game. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

The time for Georgia football to play their first game is finally here.

Thank goodness, because the entire fan base was getting fidgety. We all were getting impatient because this offseason felt like three years long. The more successful Georgia is, the longer the offseason’s seem to go.

Georgia and Clemson will take on each other Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on ABC, and it’s going to be a massive showdown.

I’ve said this throughout the week, but it’s going to be the biggest opening game in recent history, and I’m living for it.

A top-5 matchup to open the season on ABC primetime, it’s the biggest stage in college football right now until the playoffs happen.

No pressure, right?

Georgia needs to stick to its game plan, trust their team and be confident that the Bulldogs can beat any team on any field at any time.

After a week full of coverage about each team, looking at each other’s schedules to see tendencies, here are three simple things Georgia can do to shock the Tigers and give them their first opening loss since 2014.

Georgia football’s JT Daniels experience outweighs DJ Uiagalelei hype

Two of the most talked about quarterbacks this offseason were Georgia’s JT Daniels and DJ Uiagalelei. They both have strong arms, high football IQs and excellent leadership qualities.

However, I  think Daniels’ experience will be a big factor in this game. Despite transferring from USC, his time there was extremely beneficial. Now Daniels has had a full offseason healthy at Georgia, which makes him even more dangerous. He knows that playbook backward and forwards.

His wideouts and running backs trust him, not to mention the entire offensive line seems to love him too. Daniels has the support he needs, and with everyone being on the same page, the offensive struggles Georgia had last year should go away.

Even with the injured dawgs being some of his favorite targets, there will be someone who steps up on Saturday.

That experience he has will help him make good decisions on a stage of this magnitude. Now I’m not saying Uiagalelei won’t have a good game. When it comes down to it, I just think I trust Daniels to make the right decisions at the right times.

Georgia’s front seven is more experienced than Clemson’s offensive line

The Dawgs have one of the most experienced front-sevens in all of college football and a unit that led the nation in rush defense last season. Even with just four starters returning, Georgia’s front seven has experience on it.

Jordan Davis leads the way, and from the sound of what head coach Kirby Smart had to say about him during Fall Camp, he’s gotten even better. The Dawgs will need him to be a key component on third downs and stop the Tigers from getting any rhythm in the passing game.

In the two games Clemson struggled in last year, they had a hard time sustaining drives. Both the Tigers and Buckeyes converted 5-of-12 in last year’s semifinal matchup. Then there was Notre Dame, who in the first game they played held Clemson to 4-of-15 on third downs. While the Tigers eventually won that game in overtime, it’s a state to note.

If Davis, Nakobe Dean, Adam Anderson, and the rest of the defense can get them off the field on third downs, Georgia will have more time on offense to make something happen.

Winning the third-down game means you’re putting the ball plenty of times in your offense’s hands which in turn is wearing down the opponents’ defense, hopefully making it easier to put points on the board.

Run the ball, Dawgs — it’ll be worth it

The final thing Georgia should find a way to do is run the ball. While everyone knows the Dawgs love to put the ball in their talented running backs’ hands, whoever can have more success on the ground will win.

Clemson’s offense didn’t rush for 100 yards in two games last year — yup, the first Notre Dame game, and the OSU game.  The Irish held the Tigers to 34 yards, and the Buckeyes held them to 44 total rushing yards.

Ohio State recorded 254 yards on the ground but had a 78% completion rate, so they were cooking on all cylinders. If Georgia looks at what the Buckeyes did against the Tigers, it’ll show them how to beat Clemson.

If Georgia’s defense gets the Tigers off the field on third-down, that Clemson defense will eventually get tired. With them also possibly losing Tyler Davis, the Dawgs need to run the ball. Hand the ball off to Zamir White, James Cook, Kendall Milton, and whoever else earned the right to carry the rock.

While the Dawgs need a balanced offensive attack and Daniels to make some plays through the air, a successful rush attack will be the deciding factor. These two teams know they match up from a talent standpoint, so the Dawgs need to outperform them in the area that has helped them defeat Clemson so many times before — running the damn ball.

Next. Georgia Football will see statement victory over Clemson Tigers. dark

The preparations are done. All there is left to do is play the game. It’s time for Georgia to prove they are serious about getting over the hump and winning a national title, and that starts in Charlotte. The Dawgs have what it takes, so enough with the excuses and issues, overcome the adversity and win the ballgame.