Georgia Football: Proving doubters wrong by declawing the kittens

Travon Walker #44 and Quay Walker #7 of the Georgia Bulldogs (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Travon Walker #44 and Quay Walker #7 of the Georgia Bulldogs (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

After months of anticipation, speculation, and plenty of trash talk from our neighbors up north, Georgia football has beaten the Clemson Tigers.

In a week one showdown with major playoff implications, the Dawgs and Tigers renewed their old rivalry with the Dawgs coming out on top. Despite constant claims of doing less with more, Kirby Smart proved that he does indeed belong in the ranks of the top coaches in college football, with he and his loaded staff out-coaching the Tigers in last night’s matchup.

Smart’s defense was prepared and came to play. The mistaken narrative of Smart struggling to win big games was once again proven wrong. The only big matchups Smart’s team has lost have been to Bama, LSU, and Auburn, with the latter being redeemed in the 2017 SEC Championship.

When your last big game losses are to the coach who is the Greatest of All Time and the last set of Tigers to win the natty, it’s no wonder that Georgia is once again seen as a legitimate title contender, despite some schools and their fans pretending otherwise.

Georgia football had the better players and better plan

Not only did Georgia have the better staff, but last night they also fielded the better team. While some sites claimed early on that Clemson’s receivers, running backs, linebackers, defensive line, and specialty teams were more talented than Georgia, Charlotte showed those claims were driven by overconfidence and maybe just a little bit of ego.

Led by Jordan Davis, the UGA defensive line kept the heat on Clemson all night, only allowing 1 yard rushing in the first half and a total of two rush yards for the whole game. The Junkyard Dawg defense broke Clemson’s record of having the longest active scoring streak in the first half.

The linebackers also put on a good show with Nakobe Dean leading the way with two as the Dawgs recorded 7 sacks breaking the record for most sacks allowed under Dabo Swinney.

While the offense struggled some against Clemson’s defense with several receivers out, the Dawgs still proved why they continue to be called RBU, with four different running backs touching the ball and rushing for a combined 121 yards. JT Daniels also threw the ball some, targeting freshman tight end Brock Bowers multiple times and throwing for a total of 135 yards.

And while Georgia’s offense did not perform as expected, 256 yards with several receivers out and injured starting offensive linemen isn’t too bad for the first game. Combining Georgia’s offensive stats with the offensive yardage from Clemson’s previous three playoff games and the Tigers have given up a total of 1,956 yards.

Georgia’s offense might not have kept the Tiger’s defense awake just yet, but Clemson’s offensive line and lack of a run game are the stuff nightmares are made of and should make fans hesitant about their next out-of-conference matchup.

Even rubbing the rock couldn’t save them and their quarterback from Georgia’s nasty front seven. Forget great. That defense was elite. They dominated the game from start to finish, treating Clemson’s offensive line like a kitten to toy with before being tossed aside. Safety Chris Smith’s pick-six and the staggering seven sacks sealed the victory for the Dawgs.

While the two teams may face each other again this season, both have a long road ahead of them to get to that point.

Clemson fans will have to backtrack on their offseason smack talk before rerouting and heading towards another shot at the playoff. Even after this loss, Tiger fans will still think they deserve a spot in the playoff even with their weak ACC schedule. The good news is that they have until December to come up with excuses.

Next. Georgia Football: Dawgs defense exploit Tigers in soul-crushing victory. dark