Georgia opens the 2024 season against the Clemson Tigers on Aug. 31. And even though it is the first game of the season for both sides, ESPN’s Greg McElroy sees it as the biggest non-conference game in all of college football.

In a recent episode of the Always College Football podcast, McElroy named the Georgia-Clemson game as his No. 1 non-conference game for the 2024 season.

He knows Georgia will be a heavy favorite in the game — the Bulldogs are currently listed as a 13.5-point favorite — but still thinks there are some questions that need answering for the Bulldogs.

“I think there are more questions on Georgia’s roster than people realize. Doesn’t mean that they’re not going to be really good,” McElroy said. “They’re going to be excellent. This is a team that is no worse than No. 2 in college football coming into the season. There is no team outside of Ohio State that has more capable bodies on their roster. They are legit.”

McElroy believes Georgia could have one of the best receiver rooms and best offensive lines in the SEC. Georgia returns four starters at the latter position, while the Bulldogs used the transfer portal to bolster the wide receiver spot.

The concerns from McElroy come on the defensive line and in the secondary.

“There are some pieces that need to be replaced in the secondary but they’ve recruited so well at that position it’s just not a position I’m going to be losing a lot of sleep over,” McElroy said.

To McElroy’s point, Georgia brought in the No. 1 cornerback and safety prospect in the 2024 recruiting class in Ellis Robinson and KJ Bolden. Both could push for early playing time, though it would be a mild upset if either started against the Tigers.

As for Clemson, its biggest question mark comes at the quarterback position with Cade Klubnik. He has not been up to the standard of Deshaun Watson and Trevor Lawrence, who led Clemson to national championships.

But there’s a lot to like about what Clemson brings back this season. The Tigers did end the 2023 season on a five-game winning streak.

“Last year they were young and they really finished strong,” McElroy said. “If you look at some of their personnel, some of the guys that made the biggest impact for them last year, they were true freshmen. Most of which were on the defensive side of the football. And I look at their run game and that seemed to improve over the course of the season as they leaned a little more heavily on Phil Mafah.”

Georgia and Clemson last met to open the 2021 season. Georgia’s defense that day made a statement, holding the Tigers to just 3 points in a 10-3 win for Georgia. The victory helped propel Georgia into the College Football Playoff and ultimately a national championship.

McElroy expects both programs to compete for spots in the College Football Playoff. It will expand to 12 teams this season, which would make a potential loss less damning for either side.

The game is set for a Noon ET kickoff on ABC.