First off, really happy for my man @HokieSmash. He’s the only North Dakota State fan I know, and earlier in the week on our podcast he said NDSU could upset Kansas St. Congrats sir! By the way anyone that schedules Boise St. or a top 10 FCS school is insane. Good FCS teams, are well coached smart football teams with solid players. The only issue they have against FBS schools is managing the depth difference, but if they can deal with that they are very dangerous. Of course Boise St. can beat any one they play. Now for Saturday’s big game Clemson and Georgia.
What does Clemson need to do to beat Georgia?
1) Run for 125 yards+
Georgia’s offense is good. I mean really really good. It’s might just be the country’s best offense. Aaron Murray at quarterback, Todd Gurly and Keith Marshall at running back and a strong offensive line that pushed Alabama all over the field. If I am Clemson, I really don’t want a shoot out. The Tigers shouldn’t change their offense, but they need to run the ball effectively and keep Georgia’s offense off the field. If Clemson runs for 125+ yards they will win.
2) Limit big plays
Clemson doesn’t have the defensive personal of a South Carolina to hold Georgia to 7 points. The Bulldogs are going to score and probably score quite a bit, but if Gurley or Marshall gets loose for several big runs, and Murray gets into a groove, UGA could put up 50. Clemson must limit Georgia to 2 or fewer plays of 40+ yards.
3) Win the special teams battle
Always the unsung portion of any football game… Special Teams. On paper the Tigers are better than the Dawgs here. Georgia has young sophomores at the kicker and punter positions, and neither K Marshall Morgan or punter Colin Barber distinguished themselves as elite special teamers last year. Clemson’s kicker Chandler Catanzaro of game winning kick fame against LSU was one of the ACC’s best. Bradley Pinion is a new punter, but has a strong leg. Sammy Watkins will see time returning punts. If the Bulldogs outperform the Tigers on specials teams, the Tigers won’t win.