The #5 Georgia Bulldogs matched up with the #3 Clemson Tigers in College Football’s marquee matchup of opening week. Neither offense was ever able to get into a rhythm, and the game’s only touchdown came via an interception that was returned for a score by the Bulldogs defense. Georgia wins 10-3.
Going Nowhere on Offense
The Clemson offense was due to take a step back this year as a result of having to replace star quarterback Trevor Lawrence, but no one could have imagined just how bad their offense would be against Georgia. The Tigers finished the first half totaling only a single rushing yard. And then they were unable to exceed that amount in the second half as they instead simply matched their total from the first half, finishing the game with just TWO RUSHING YARDS. Yes, you read that correctly.
First Half Offensive Drive Comparison
The first half featured some great defense, or terrible offense depending how look at it. The Clemson Tigers had the ball a total of six times during the first half, resulting in five punts and an interception. Not to mention, half of those drives ended in three-and-outs, plus the team had multiple drives gaining 1 or less yards. In total for the first half, the Clemson Tigers gained 100 yards on offense with no points.
Things were not much better for the Georgia offense. The Bulldogs had five offensive possessions in the first half that resulted in three punts, a missed field goal, and time expiring for the half. The Georgia offense was however able to out-gain the Clemson offense, as the bulldogs racked up 110 yards of total offense in the first half.
DJ Uiagalelei is no Trevor Lawrence
There’s been talk all throughout the off-season about how just good the next guy could be, with some even speculating he could be better than Lawrence. If we learned anything yesterday, it was that Clemson starting quarterback DJ Uiagalelei is no Trevor Lawrence. Not even close in my opinion, though it’s still too early to completely write him off overall.
Uiagalelei was only able to complete 51% of his pass attempts, and finished with no touchdowns and an interception that was returned for what turned out to be the game winning score. Just based on what we saw yesterday, it’s going to be a rough year for the Clemson Tigers, although luckily for them the Georgia Bulldogs were the toughest team they’ll face all regular season so things should be a bit easier moving forward.
Only Touchdown of the Game
As mentioned previously, the only touchdown scored in this game came when the Georgia Defense returned an interception for a touchdown. Not the best look for Clemson QB Uiagalelei as he failed to see the defender sitting in coverage with the perfect angle to undercut the receiver on the pass. It seemed as though the QB’s eyes never made it far enough left to see the defender. That’s a problem.
Not Taking Any Chances
Georgia came into this game fully prepared for anything Clemson may try to do in order to gain a leg up on their competitor. This included “screening” or blocking any potential outside/overhead visibility of their offensive play callers and play sheets. This is actually a low-key genius move on their part, I’m honestly very impressed by the foresight to plan this ahead of time knowing the opponent may try anything to gain an edge.
Corso Curse Has Been Broken
Over the years College GameDay’s Lee Corso had developed a reputation for “cursing” the Georgia Bulldogs by picking them to win during the show. This had occurred multiple times thoguhout history and had become somewhat of a running theme. Older Georgia fans likely went from relieved to nervous the instant Corso flipped his pick yesterday:
That being said, in more recent history you could perhaps argue the opposite given the fact that Corso has correctly predicted wins for the Bulldogs in multiple big game matchups in recent years. As Bailey Barker points out on Twitter, it seems safe to say that the curse has been officially broken.
Quavo Joins Locker Room Celebration
The rapper is known for his love of the Georgia Bulldogs, and he is often in attendance for major matchups. Following the Bulldogs “upset” of the Clemson Tigers Quavo joined the team for their locker room celebration, all while live streaming on Instagram. Not sure how I feel about live streaming in the locker room, especially from a non-player. But no one seemed to take issue with it last night as it was all smiles and celebration.
This game was a bit disappointing in terms of entertainment value, though the outcome was what I would have expected. Georgia seems to be poised to make a national title run, while the Tigers appear as though they will struggle to contend in the ACC. And that’s not saying much given the current state of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Could this year feature the first time the ACC fails to get a team into the College Football Playoff?