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George Pickens figures to be a big part of Georgia's 2021 team.

Way-too-early game predictions for Georgia football 2021 schedule

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Way-too-early predictions for Georgia football 2021 schedule

Georgia’s 2021 schedule was released on Wednesday. With spring and fall practice still to come there’s obviously a lot that will change with this Georgia team.

But it’s also never too early to look at the full slate and see how Georgia might do during the 2021 season. We took a stab at making a way-too-early game-by-game projection for the 2021 season.

Clemson, Sept. 4, Charlotte: This game will be a tone-setter for Georgia’s season. Win, and the Bulldogs likely ascend to the No. 1 spot in the polls. Lose, and the noise that Kirby Smart can’t win big games gets louder, even if it’s untrue.

Ohio State gave Georgia a blueprint on how to beat Clemson. Have a defensive line that can overpower Clemson’s biggest weakness, the offensive line, and have receivers that can make plays deep against its secondary. On paper, Georgia appears to have both of those.

The Bulldogs though have those exact same areas of concern. These two teams are pretty similar and Georgia could absolutely win this game. Part of the reason for picking Clemson is only because I lack the gumption to state that Georgia will go 12-0 in the regular season. Clemson 31, Georgia 26

UAB, Sept. 11, Athens: Some will note UAB as a Group of 5 team and write them off. This isn’t a cupcake game though. Under Bill Clark, the Blazers have gone 34-16 over the past four seasons. Much like an Arkansas State in 2019 or an Appalachian State in 2017, Georgia won’t be able to this team lightly.

Still, Georgia should be able to flex its muscles, so long as the Clemson performance doesn’t impact this game too strongly in either direction. Georgia 38, UAB 10

South Carolina, Sept. 18, Athens: The last time South Carolina came into Sanford Stadium, it emerged with a stunning 20-17 upset over the Bulldogs. While Georgia will never publicly admit to it being a motivating factor, that game will be on its mind on Sept. 18.

This will also be Shane Beamer’s first SEC conference game as a head coach. It will come against one of his former bosses, as Beamer coached at Georgia in 2016 and 2017.

The cupboard at South Carolina isn’t empty as Will Muschamp had recruited fairly well in recent seasons but this is a game Georgia should win convincingly. Of course, that was supposed to be the case the last time these two met. Georgia 41, South Carolina 13

Vanderbilt, Sept. 25, Nashville: The Commodores also have a first-year head coach in Clark Lea. He’s got an uphill battle as far as fixing up a Vanderbilt program that went 0-9 last season.

Georgia and Vanderbilt did not get to play in 2020 due to COVID issues within the Vanderbilt program. The cancellation of that game cost Georgia a chance at having a senior day. Some might point to that as a motivating factor but Georgia doesn’t need that for this game. Georgia is just much, much better. Georgia 52, Vanderbilt 3

Arkansas, Oct. 2, Athens: After Beamer makes his return to Athens in September, Sam Pittman will do so to start October. Pittman’s first game as a head coach came against Georgia in 2020. While the final score was 37-10, the Razorbacks actually held a 10-5 halftime lead.

In Pittman’s first year, the Razorbacks showed major improvements. They also bring back both coordinators in Barry Odom and Kendal Briles. Georgia has gotten better with JT Daniels at quarterback since that game, but the Razorbacks won’t be a pushover. Georgia 34, Arkansas 16

Auburn, Oct. 9, Auburn, Ala.: This will be the third first-year head coach Georgia sees at this point in the season, with Bryan Harsin taking over for Gus Malzahn.

Auburn will have played LSU the week before, drawing the Bulldogs at a tough time in its schedule. Georgia had its way with Auburn last season, and that was before the Tigers have to replace wide receivers Seth Williams and Anthony Schwartz.

Bo Nix and Tank Bigsby return for Auburn, and Mike Bobo is calling plays for the Tigers now. Derek Mason is a well-regarded defensive mind and while the Tigers might not have a Derek Brown type player, they will still be a tough out at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Georgia 27, Auburn 17

Kentucky, Oct. 16, Athens, Ga.: While Georgia has beaten Kentucky every time under Smart, the Wildcats have rarely made it easy. The Wildcats held Georgia to a season-low 14 points in 2020 and it scored just 21 the last time these two teams met in Athens.

The Wildcats also bring back a lot of talent from their 2020 team. Kentucky does have a new offensive coordinator as Liam Coen takes over for Eddie Gran. The Wildcats still have quarterback concerns, but given this Georgia’s fifth-straight SEC game, don’t expect the Bulldogs to ease into the off week. Georgia 23, Kentucky 6

Florida, Oct. 30, Jacksonville, Fla.: This game figures to pit the two favorites in the SEC East. Florida won the 2020 game 44-28, thanks to a great performance by Kyle Trask and a poor performance from Stetson Bennett and D’Wan Mathis.

The Bulldogs will have Daniels at quarterback in this game — barring injury — while the Gators will have a new quarterback in Emory Jones or Anthony Richardson. Georgia should have the edge at quarterback and that should give the Bulldogs the edge over the Gators. Georgia 37, Florida 24

Missouri, Nov. 6, Athens, Ga.: Missouri has a very favorable schedule to start 2021, before drawing Texas A&M and Georgia on the back half of the schedule. The Tigers went 5-5 in year one under Eli Drinkwitz, perhaps exceeding expectations.

But Georgia dominated the Tigers when these two teams meet on Dec. 12. Jordan Davis played a huge role in stopping the run game, while George Pickens destroyed the Missouri secondary. With both of them back, except Georgia to once again come away with a win. Georgia 45, Missouri 17

Tennessee, Nov. 13, Knoxville, Tenn.:  The Volunteers have a new head coach in Josh Heupel, as he was officially introduced on Wednesday. But the Volunteers have already seen a number of their top players transfer out, such as leading rusher Eric Gray heading to Oklahoma.  

This is Georgia’s final SEC game of the season and the Bulldogs could have the SEC East clinched by this point. Tennessee is such a mess at this point it’s hard to see how they’ll be competitive against elite teams like the Bulldogs. Georgia 55, Tennessee 24

Charleston Southern, Nov. 20, Athens, Ga.: We don’t need to think too much about this one. It was very refreshing in 2020 to not have any FCS opponents to discuss on Georgia’s schedule. Georgia 55, Charleston Southern 7

Georgia Tech, Nov. 27, Atlanta: The Yellow Jackets return to the schedule in 2021, with Georgia finishing its regular season in Atlanta. Georgia didn’t get a chance to play Georgia Tech in 2020 due to the SEC going to a conference-only slate.

Geoff Collins needs some things to start going well in his third season, as the Yellow Jackets have won just three games in each of his first two years. We don’t think they’ll have a good day against Georgia. Georgia 48, Georgia Tech 14

Predicted record: 11-1, 8-0 in SEC play

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