What we love and hate to see about Georgia football opening 2021 season against Clemson
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Love and hate to see it: Georgia football to start 2021 season against Clemson
In the past, we’ve done this column as winners and losers. But going forward, we’re going to break it up into “You love to see it,” and “You hate to see it.”
You love to see it: The Georgia-Clemson “rivalry”
While these two programs don’t play each other on an annual basis, the two have quite a bit of history against each other. The two sides have met more frequently than Tennessee and have had their fair share of epic clashes against each other over the years.
The last time the two teams met was a part of a home-and-home in 2013 and 2014. Clemson won at their place, while the Bulldogs won in Sanford Stadium. Both games are memorable for each program, though their more recent success has topped what they did in those two seasons.
The schools are less than 80 miles apart, and they overlap quite a bit on the recruiting trail. In this past cycle, the two programs combined to sign 11 of the top 33 prospects in the 247Sports Composite rankings.
With the 2021 game now on the schedule, the two schools will meet six times during the regular season between now and 2033. That doesn’t even include any possible College Football Playoff games. Since the 2008 season, Georgia played Alabama only twice during the regular season.
Dabo Swinney has previously stated that he would like to see Georgia on the schedule every season. While that makes a lot more sense for Clemson than it does Georgia given the struggles of the ACC, if these games go well, it might not be a bad idea.
You hate to see it: The starting quarterbacks that day
Georgia is probably going to be starting a first-time starter on Sept. 4, 2021. Even if Jamie Newman does win and hold down the job for the 2020 season, it will be the only year he’s at Georgia.
The Bulldogs will have Stetson Bennett, Carson Beck and D’Wan Mathis to possibly turn to should none of them decide to transfer out of the program. The Bulldogs will be bringing in a highly-touted quarterback as the Bulldogs have a commitment from 5-star prospect Brock Vandagriff.
And while there’s a ton of promise when it comes to Vandagriff, throwing him out there against what should be a loaded Clemson defense may not be the best move for his development. Deshaun Watson made his debut against Georgia during the 2014 game, but he didn’t start that day. Trevor Lawrence didn’t start the first game of his freshman season at Clemson either.
There is also a very real chance Clemson will be breaking in a new quarterback given Lawrence can go to the NFL after the 2020 season. With Georgia figuring to have a strong defense so long as Kirby Smart is running the program, the Clemson starting quarterback will likely have a tough time that day too.
With two new starting quarterbacks, points are likely to come at a premium. And while it might not lead to the most aggressive game plans, whichever quarterback can best limit their mistakes is very likely to be the winning starter.
You love to see it: Marquee college football games
The sport is just better when it has regular-season games like this. And given this matchup figures to be between top-10 and maybe even top-5 foes, it will help those who follow the sport get through the long offseason.
This game figures to be the most discussed or hyped season-opener since 2017, when No. 1 Alabama opened up against No. 3 Florida State in Atlanta. But that game didn’t exactly live up to its lofty hype as the Crimson Tide steamrolled Florida State in a 24-7 win.
But it’s still a great thing that these two teams are meeting in the regular season, given it’s a matchup you figure to really only see in the College Football Playoff. In the past five seasons, Georgia and Clemson are two of the only four teams to win at least one College Football Playoff game, with Alabama and LSU being the other two.
If things go well for both the Bulldogs and Clemson, there is a chance the two teams could meet in this upcoming season’s College Football Playoff. If that were to happen it would somehow add some extra spice onto what should be one of the hottest games of the 2021 season. Which is not something that has ever been said about any football game played in Charlotte, N.C.
You hate to see it: Georgia’s 2021 home schedule
The cost of this game was $1.8 million, as that is what it will cost Georgia to buyout San Jose State. That game was originally set to played in Athens on Sept. 4, one of seven Georgia home games that season. Now the Bulldogs will have six home games during the 2021 season.
Those six games? South Carolina, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, UAB and Charleston Southern. That’s an uglier slate than Buzz’s girlfriend from Home Alone.
Even if San Jose State was still on the schedule, it’s still a pretty repulsive home schedule. The Bulldogs will have the usual marquee games against Florida, Tennessee and Auburn, but all of those games will be played away from the friendly confines of Sanford Stadium. The latter two will be on the road.
The Georgia-Clemson game will obviously be a big draw and you’re more than likely to see a lot of Georgia fans attend that game. It’s just also a shame that Georgia won’t have a foe of that caliber at home during that season.
More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation
- Georgia football podcast: UGA’s aggressive scheduling is a gift for fans
- Georgia basketball upsets Auburn before sellout crowd at Stegeman Coliseum
- NCAA group recommends immediate eligibility for transfers, too late for Luke Ford
- Georgia football coach Kirby Smart on playing Clemson in Charlotte: ‘completely new experience’
- Georgia football podcast: ESPN suggests 2020 could be ‘rebuilding’ year for UGA
- Jake Fromm 2020 NFL Draft stock hinges on arm strength, per Mel Kiper Jr.
- Georgia football sure to benefit from ‘Air Raid’ guru Mike Leach at coaching clinic
Dawgs on Twitter
— Georgia Football (@GeorgiaFootball) February 20, 2020
DAWGS ON TOP‼️ pic.twitter.com/UKcXsJ1w30
— Georgia Basketball (@UGABasketball) February 20, 2020
Final: Dawgs 10-3
Georgia return to Foley Field Friday vs. Santa Clara at 3 PM.#GoDawgs
— Georgia Baseball (@BaseballUGA) February 20, 2020
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) February 20, 2020
Good Dawg of the Day
— Nick Barr (@BarrStar11) February 20, 2020