ATHENS — The steam coming out of SEC Media Days involved Alabama players acknowledging the physical nature of the Tide’s dogfights with Georgia each of the past two seasons.
Alabama has prevailed in 26-23 (OT) and 35-28 slugfests, even as the Bulldogs have led or been tied for 281 of the 290 plays in the game.
Clemson, however, apparently took exception when Tide linebacker Dylan Moses said Georgia was “the hardest” team he’d played in his career, and Bama receiver Jerry Jeudy said UGA was “the toughest.”
The Tigers beat Alabama 44-16 in the CFP Championship Game, with FWAA Freshman of the Year Trevor Lawrence dicing up the Tide.
Tigers O-Lineman John Simpson responded by saying at ACC Media Days, “I personally feel that Notre Dame was the best team we played. Notre Dame was really good. I think Notre Dame was better than Alabama was.”
The ACC Tigers might have some more hurt feelings when they learn that South Carolina linebacker T.J. Brunson agreed with Alabama’s Moses, and he explained why.
“I think Georgia is a more physical team,” Brunson said. “Clemson is, I wouldn’t say a finesse, but Georgia, when they are coming in you know what they are going to do and how they are going to do it.
“Clemson is the same way, they’re just not as physical, in my opinion. It’s not the same type of downhill game attack. It’s, I’m going to spread you out and then decide to try to gut you.”
South Carolina receiver Bryan Edwards explained his view on how Georgia and Clemson are different.
“It’s like comparing apples to oranges, honestly, I mean because when you look at them, Georgia is kind of a run the ball team, and Clemson kinda spreads you out, so it’s kind of comparing apples to oranges,” Edwards said.
“Clemson, their D-Line was very good, and Georgia had a lot of athletes at every position.”
South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley agreed, and was complimentary of the Bulldogs and the Tigers.
“How do they compare to each other? I think they are two totally different teams,” Bentley said. “I think they are both great teams, but they have different philosophies of how they go about doing it, not that one is more right than the other.
“But they are two great teams that we have to play well against.”
Former South Carolina receiver Deebo Samuel said at the Reese’s Senior Bowl in January he felt Georgia was “the toughest competition” the Gamecocks faced.
A look at how the Georgia and Clemson games agains South Carolina turned out could explain why the Gamecocks paid the Bulldogs as much respect as they did.
The Bulldogs beat the Gamecocks 41-17, outgaining South Carolina in Columbia 473-336 after a key third-quarter offensive explosion.
The Tigers beat the Gamecocks 56-35 in Clemson, totaling 744 yards to Carolina’s 600.
South Carolina LB T.J. Brunson
South Carolina QB Jake Bentley
South Carolina WR Bryan Edwards
DawgNation from SEC Media Days