Game Time: 7:30 pm ET, Saturday, September 4, 2021
Venue: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
Where to Watch: ABC
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Point Spread: Bulldogs +3, Tigers -3; Over/Under: 50 points
Bet365: Point Spread: Bulldogs +3, Tigers -3; Over/Under: 50.5 points
BetMGM: Point Spread: Bulldogs +3, Tigers -3; Over/Under: 50.5 points
Georgia Bulldogs: 0-0 (SEC East)
Clemson Tigers: 0-0 (ACC)
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Georgia Bulldogs vs Clemson Tigers Preview and Analysis
Georgia Bulldogs: 4 game winning streak
Clemson Tigers: 1 game losing streak
Bulldogs vs Tigers Prediction
The Georgia Bulldogs are taking on the Clemson Tigers in their first game of the college football season. These are 2 top 5 teams in the country so this game will have major implications on the college football playoff. Georgia finished last season in 2nd place of the SEC East with an 8-2 record overall, going 7-2 in conference play. They were 4-1 on the road last season where they will be in this game. Clemson finished last season in 1st place of the ACC with a 10-2 record overall, going 8-1 in conference play. They were 3-1 on the road last season where they will be in this game on a neutral site.
The Bulldogs are carrying over a 4 game win streak from last season. They picked up wins against Mississippi State, South Carolina, Missouri, and Cincinnati to end off their season. Most of those wins were by more than a touchdown except their very last game against Cincinnati, that was decided by a field goal. Georgia's offense was great in both aspects. They were averaging a 58.2% completion percentage, 249.9 passing yards, and 1.9 touchdowns per game through the air. They also averaged 174.2 rushing yards and 1.8 touchdowns per game on the ground. Their defense was incredible with stopping the run but it needs some work with their pass defense. They were allowing teams a 65.7% completion percentage, 248.7 passing yards, and 1.5 touchdowns per game through the air. They also allowed 72.3 rushing yards and 0.8 touchdowns per game on the ground. Kirby Smart is back for another season and he has had a lot of success with this program over the years. Clemson has been great for years though and it will be tough for Georgia to come up with the win here. They will have to use that defense to stuff them in the run game and their secondary will have to step up here.
Clemson ended their last season with a loss to Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl after winning 3 straight games prior to that. Clemson's offense was pretty good with their run game last year but they put up monster numbers with their passing game. They were averaging a 66.5% completion percentage, 348.5 passing yards, and 2.6 touchdowns per game through the air. They also averaged 153.8 rushing yards and 2.8 touchdowns per game on the ground. Their defense was also very good at stopping both the run game and the passing game. They were allowing teams a 55.4% completion percentage, 214.2 passing yards, and 1.4 touchdowns per game through the air. They also allowed 112.7 rushing yards and 0.8 touchdowns per game on the ground. Dabo Swinney is back once again and he has had major success with this program over the years including a few National Championships. He has done a great job with both their offense and defense. Their offense is extremely potent, it can put up points on the ground and also can send the ball down field picking up tons of yardage. This defense has been very stout as well as it rarely allows a rushing touchdown in a game. It will be tough to beat such a well rounded team.
Both of these teams are some of the best in the country but this game can only have 1 winner. Clemson is just a better overall team on both the offense and defense. They have had a lot more success over the years than this Georgia team and in such an important game here, they will make sure not to lose at all especially in the first game of the season. Both of these teams have their eyes set on an undefeated season but Clemson just has more talent on their side all around.
Bulldogs Tigers Prediction: Our NCAAF Pick for Saturday, September 4, 2021 (7:30 pm ET start time) is Tigers 37 Bulldogs 24.
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NCAAF Betting Trends
Georgia Bulldogs: 29-11 ATS against ACC opponents since 1992.
Clemson Tigers: 16-11 ATS in all games over the last 3 years.
Georgia Bulldogs: A. Gilbert (WR) Questionable for Saturday due to personal reasons. W. Ericson (OL) Questionable for Saturday with a hand injury.
Clemson Tigers: J. Nagata (WR) Questionable for Saturday with a hamstring injury. J. Ross (WR) Probable for Saturday with a neck injury.
Players to Watch
Georgia Bulldogs: JT Daniels is one player to watch in this game for the Bulldogs. This will be his 4th season in college football but his 2nd season playing for Georgia. He only played in 4 games last season completing 80/119 passes for 1231 yards, 10 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. He played very well in a short period of time soi look for him to have a breakout game if they are going to have a chance at beating Clemson.
Clemson Tigers: D.J. Uiagalelei is one player to watch in this game now that Trevor Lawrence has gone to the NFL. This will be his 2nd season playing for Clemson. He played in 9 games last season completing 78/117 passes for 914 yards, 5 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. He will have to be the guy running this offense all season so look for him to make some big plays as he looks to take Clemson back to the National Championship game.
“Warren Ericson is doing awesome. We’re fired up about Warren Ericson. He’s been able to practice the last two weeks, and he’s done an excellent job. As far as punt return and kick return, we didn’t get to go outside today, and we were going to get to do some live kicks today to finalize that. Probably Kenny, Kearis, Ladd, those are the guys in the running for PK. So, those three guys primarily, and Cook had worked back there and Zamir. Every one of those guys, kickoff return, will be one of the backs. Punt will be Ladd, Kearis, DK, Burton, but really those guys have all kind of been neck and neck, and it will probably just be Kearis. But to be honest, he hasn’t gone through everything in this camp, so he’s had some time where he wasn’t out there, and he’s been out there now for I guess the last two weeks. So, we certainly feel very comfortable.” - Kirby Smart on the progress of Warren Ericson and the special teams unit.
“We're not gonna confirm anything other than Saturday we'll let everybody know who's available and who's not." - Dabo Swinney on the health status of his team.
WR Gilbert, Arik
WR Burton, Jermaine
WR Jackson, Kearis
TE FitzPatrick, John
QB Daniels, JT
RB White, Zamir
RB Cook, James
WR Ngata, Joseph
WR Ladson Jr., Frank
WR Ross, Justyn
TE Galloway, Braden
QB Uiagalelei, D.J.
RB Dixon, Lyn-J
RB Pace, Kobe
Georgia Bulldogs: Kirby Smart (6th season)
Clemson Tigers: Dabo Swinney (14th season)
78 degrees F mostly sunny, 50% humidity, 0% chance of rain, up to 6 mph wind speeds SE.