Clemson Tigers vs. Georgia Bulldogs Point Spread
Point Spread Line: Georgia -7.5
Time: 5:30 EST Saturday August 30, 2014 on ESPN / WatchESPN
This game is one of the few on the opening college schedule between 2 ranked teams and the loser will behind the 8-ball right off the bat in their quest for getting to the BCS playoffs. Last season Clemson beat Georgia in a barnburner 38-35, but these are different teams and both lost their starting QB's to the NFL.
Georgia lost last season in this match up, but are favored this time around in their house. The Bulldogs have not opened the season with 2 straight wins in the last 5 seasons and they can get off to a good start doing that if they can take down 16th ranked Clemson.
Last season Clemson was 7-6 ATS and they had an Over/Under record of 8-5 and Georgia was 3-8-2 ATS and had an Over/Under record of 9-4.
Clemson lost starting WR Sammy Watkins and QB Tajh Boyd to the pros and Cole Stoudt is now the starter under center. Also gone from the Tigers are RB Roderick McDowel and 2nd leading WR Martavis Bryant. However, when Stoudt has gotten the call he has played well and while inexperienced he has a talented and young WR corps.
The leading returning rusher for the Tigers is D.J. Howard and the team was counting on Zac Brooks to be a big part of the offense, but he will miss the season with an injury. The Tigers have some young guys in the backfield and whoever is getting the call has to run the ball well facing a Bulldogs' defense that ranked 79th in the nation last season.
While Georgia also lost their starting QB one of their big guns on offense returns in RB Todd Gurley, who is getting some Heisman talk and rushed for over 900 yards averaging 6.3 yards per carry last season. He can take it to the house every time he touches the ball and is also solid in the passing game.
The returning Clemson players know Gurley well, as even in the loss last season he rushed for 152 yards with 2 TD on only 12 carries.
Hutson Mason is the new starting QB for Georgia and as a senior he has the leadership and the tools to get it done. It also helps that the Bulldogs return a couple of good playmakers in Michael Bennett and Chris Conley.
The Clemson defense returns some key players from a unit that ranked 24th in the nation last season giving up an average of 22.2 ppg. One player that the Georgia offense really has to key on is Vic Beasley, who had 13.5 sacks last season. In last season's match up facing Georgia he had 2 sacks and was always in the backfield wreaking havoc.
Clemson is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games, e 8-3 ATS in their last 11 road games, and they have an Over record of 5-2 in their last 7 games.
Georgia is 4-1 ATS in their last 6 home games, 1-4 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games, and they have an Over record of 7-2 in their last 9 home games.
Point Spread Pick
Georgia had a ton of injuries last season and our healthy and should be looking for payback from last season's opening weekend loss. Clemson has too many losses on offense to keep up against a top flight club like the Bulldogs. Look for Georgia to start early and not take their foot off the gas until the final whistle.
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