Two perspectives on Saturday nights tilt:
This game should be epic. I think Clemson is the better team. I also thought Clemson was better than Ohio State last year, and LSU in 2019, so keep that in mind.
I spent a few minutes looking over the depth chart that was released on Monday evening, pondering what I was reading. By Tuesday morning, I heard talking heads calling it a ‘fake depth chart’, pointing out that it was basically the spring depth chart with a few extra names, like Justyn Ross. It still includes Brannon Spector, who hasn’t practiced much, if at all, this fall. Moral of the story: take this depth chart with a grain of salt. There appears to be a good amount of gamesmanship going on right now between the two programs. Kirby Smart says Georgia won’t release a depth chart at all.
It lists Lynn-J and Kobe as co-starters, with Shipley as the 2nd string. I do still think Lynn-J trots out first, but the other two will trot out soon after, and I think performance in the 1st half will dictate who gets the most touches in the 2nd half.
I also see Ladson listed at both the boundary and field WR spots. This does make sense to me – if Ngata can play, he starts at boundary and Ladson is the field. If Ngata doesn’t go, or must leave, Ladson moves to boundary and EJ takes the field spot.
The depth chart right now says either Rayburn or Trotter at center, but everyone seems to agree that is just window dressing. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bockhorst there at some point Saturday.
When it comes to Georgia, I am not sure what to make of their offensive line. I hear several people question it, then I hear others act like it’s the best line in the SEC. We know they have had injuries, but I am not sure how that might impact them. I am also not sure what to think of some of the reports of discontent inside the Georgia program. Honestly, I have a hard time believing it amounts to much of anything. I think both teams will be ready to go Saturday night.
For the most part college football has become a scoring fest. Gone are the days of the defensive struggle, the 17-14 slobber knocker, in favor of the 42-38 shoot out. I’m OK with that for the most part, but I admit to missing defense occasionally, mostly when Clemson is getting thrashed on that side of the ball, such as when we last saw the Tigers in live action.
I really don’t know what to expect when the Tigers and Bulldogs clash Saturday night in Charlotte, the 3 point spread in Clemson’s favor means the experts aren’t really sure either. I’ve got questions about both teams’ offensive lines and believe it or not questions about both teams’ quarterbacks.
Sure, D.J. Uiagalelei looked fine in his 2 starts last season, but this is a different animal, largely because of Georgia’s defense. Most of Uiagalelei’s passes were safe and short and there are questions (outside of Justyn Ross) about the Clemson wide receivers, at least to me. Long term Uiagalelei will be fine and will grow into a star, but he’s not the freshman backup any more. He’s the man with the weight of the program on his shoulders..
I’m not a JT Daniels hater, but he’ll have to make a believer. It’s possible that will happen Saturday night, but I wouldn’t bet on it. His receiving corp is hobbled by injury and those that aren’t don’t appear to be explosive.
Both teams have stellar defensive lines that will be difficult to move and/or have much time to throw the ball.
I’m not sure if this game will be on my betting card for this week’s Sluggo podcast, but if it is, I’d be on the under if it got to 52.5 (currently 51), as I can definitely see a 28-24 type game one way or another.
It won’t be a slugfest of old, but rather a slugfest for the new breed of college football where 28-24 is a “low scoring affair”.
Who ends up with 28? Your guess is as good as mine.