No. 5 Georgia's defense dominates in win over No. 3 Clemson
No. 5 Georgia hangs on to take down No. 3 Clemson
In a game where offense was scarce, a Christopher Smith pick-6 turned out to be the difference. No. 5 Georgia's defense played nearly perfect in a 10-3 win over No. 3 Clemson in Charlotte, North Carolina.
UGA's defense was the biggest story of the night. The Bulldogs managed to get to Tigers QB DJ Uiagalelei for seven sacks; Clemson's offensive line allowed just 20 sacks in their 12 games last season. The Bulldogs also forced one interception which ended up as the biggest play of the night. Uaigalelei had a slow night as opposed to his previous two starts, going 19 for 37 with 178 yards in the air.
The Georgia offense wasn't able to accomplish much either. The Bulldogs offense was only able to produce 3 points. Other than QB JT Daniels' one interception, he remained solid, throwing for 135 yards while going 22 for 30.
Clemson's offense had an opportunity to make it a three-point game early in the fourth quarter after a pass interference call brought the Tigers to the UGA 5-yard line. The Bulldogs stood tall and came up with three stops to force a field goal. Later on in that quarter, Uiagalelei would get his team in Georgia territory before turning it over on downs and squashing any chances the Tigers had of winning.
This etches UGA's 43rd win all time against the Tigers in the lowest-scoring affair between these two since Clemson's 13-3 win in 1981.
The Tigers will head back to Death Valley to take on South Carolina State at 5 p.m. on Sep. 11. Georgia will also head home, taking on UAB at 3:30 p.m. on Sep. 11
Georgia 10, Clemson 3 |
Clemson is showing signs of life, kicker BT Potter nails a 22-yard field goal to bring the Tigers back within one score.
Early in the drive it seemed the Bulldogs were going to force another three-and-out, but QB DJ Uiagalelei completed a 44-yard pass to Joseph Ngata to give his team a spark. That spark fizzled a little bit as they failed to get seven points form the Georgia five yard line. Nonetheless, Clemson managed to put points and make a dent in the lead.
Georgia 10, Clemson 0 | 2:38 Q3
Once again, it seemed like Clemson had the momentum going its way when the Tigers picked off JT Daniels early in the third. Thanks to a couple sacks that forced the Tigers to put, the Bulldogs regained possession without sacrificing any points.
On the ensuing possession, UGA put together a 81-yard drive that lasted nearly 5 minutes to secure three points and extend its lead on a 22-yard field goal. Kirby Smart's squad is still leaning towards pass to avoid the Tigers' defensive line — on their last drive they passed seven times while only rushing on four plays.
Georgia 7, Clemson 0 | Half
The first half of this top-5 matchup was all about defense as Georgia takes it to halftime up 7-0 over Clemson. That lead is attributed to Christopher Smith who picked off DJ Uiagalelei and brought it 74 yards to the end zone.
Offensively, both these teams have had little to write home about. Clemson put together just 90 yards of offense, while Georgia has generated only 116 yards. The Bulldogs did have a chance to get points earlier on in the game when Jack Podlesny missed a 36-yard kick at the start of the second quarter.
A scoreless first half for Dabo Swinney's team is a rare sight. In fact, it hasn't happened since 2010 (143 games ago) when NC State shut them out in the first half. The Tigers would go on to win that game 14-13, will we be set for another nailbiter tonight? Stay tuned.
Georgia 7, Clemson 0 | 2:58 Q2
Shortly after Clemson seemed to have shifted the momentum in their favor thanks to a fumble recovery, Georgia turns the tables in a matter of seconds thanks to a pick-six.
Clemson QB DJ Uiagalelei was attempting to complete a short crossing route over the middle when Georgia's Christopher Smith jumped the route and returned it 74 yards to the house. That breaks the scoring stalemate and gives the Bulldogs a 7 point lead.
GEORGIA PICK-SIX 🏡☎️ pic.twitter.com/z8afd8J0Ua— ESPN (@espn) September 5, 2021
Defenses standing tall early | 4:57 Q1
A little over half way through the first quarter, the Georgia and Clemson defenses have made it tough for their opposing offenses thus far.
The Tigers have held the Bulldogs to 29 total yards of offense during their first two drives. UGA has been the beneficiaries of two stellar Jake Camarda punts that have pinned Clemson inside or at their own 10-yard line. The Bulldogs have also recorded two sacks, each on third down to hold the Tigers to 10 yards of offense.
Huge sack by Georgia's defense❗️ pic.twitter.com/Gi1pjVexPw— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) September 5, 2021
Georgia and Clemson face off in a top-5 matchup
For the first time since 2014, Georgia and Clemson are set to meet, this time in Charlotte, North Carolina. Saturday will be the 65th time the two have played since the inception of this rivalry, which dates back to 1897.
A lot has changed since the last time these two graced the same field — and there have even been some changes since the end of the 2020-21 season. Most notably, Clemson and Georgia will both have starting quarterbacks that didn’t start the majority of games last season.
UGA’s JT Daniels returned from injury to start the final four games of the season where he threw for 1,231 yards, 10 touchdowns and only two interceptions. Clemson’s DJ Uiagalelei came took over in two games last season when starter Trevor Lawrence was sidelined due to COVID-19. The Tigers went 1-1 with a loss to Notre Dame. In those two games, Uiagalelei was good for 781 yards in the air, four passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns.
On the defensive side, Clemson and Georgia have no shortage of talent. Both were ranked in the top 15 for yards allowed per game in 2020. They also each feature preseason All-American defensive tackles in Georgia’s Jordan Davis and Clemson’s Bryan Bresee.
For Clemson’s Dabo Swinney and Georgia’s Kirby Smart, a top-5 victory to open the 2021 season will be a huge momentum boost as they make their way into the rest of their schedule.
Here is the schedule for Saturday's game in Charlotte:
- 7:30 p.m. ET | Georgia vs. Clemson | Live stats | TV: ABC | Stream: WatchESPN
The College Gameday picks are in!
College GameDay returned to the FBS stage this morning as Charlotte, NC hosted the crew before tonight's Georgia vs. Clemson game.
Clemson head coach Dabo Sweeney joined the set for a brief moment, hyping up the crowd.
"You guys are soft ... I thought you all were out here sweatin!"— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) September 4, 2021
Dabo wasted no time roasting the crew 😂 pic.twitter.com/sgBo1UsgAB
Later, a new guest joined the set in country and pop musician Kane Brown. Brown along with the mainstays provided predictions for all of the day's games. However, the biggest prediction came at the end when Lee Corso made his pick.
"You can see my pick is easy, Clemson! ... Not so fast my friends, THE YEAR OF THE DOG!"— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) September 4, 2021
Coach with the fake me out and he's taking Georgia! pic.twitter.com/bZMR76GXSN
One day remains before Georgia and Clemson kick off
We are one day away from the highly anticipated No. 5 Georgia vs. No. 3 Clemson game. The Bulldogs and Tigers have arrived in Charlotte in preparation for tomorrow's game. Each team has College Football Playoff aspirations for the 2021 season and a season-opening win will go a long way towards that goal.
Spot the ball. pic.twitter.com/NMLcMI9kJE— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) September 1, 2021
How to watch Georgia vs. Clemson
Get ready for one of the biggest games of the year. It's No. 3 Clemson against No. 5 Georgia, with both the Bulldogs and the Tigers trying to get an early win to boost College Football Playoff chances.
- Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
- Date: Saturday, Sept. 4
- TV channel: ABC
- Streaming: ESPN.com
- Location: Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina
Previewing Georgia vs. Clemson
No. 5 Georgia and No. 3 Clemson, two of college football’s premier programs, meet in a highly anticipated matchup in Week 1 of the college football season.
When the ball kicks off at 7:30 p.m. in Charlotte on Sept. 4, two top-5 teams play in a rare early season matchup. Usually out-of-conference teams of this stature don’t meet until the College Football Playoff or New Year’s Six Bowl.
That’s familiar territory for both Georgia and Clemson, who have a combined 10 New Year’s Six Bowl appearances since 2015. In that span, Georgia has one playoff appearance; Clemson has six consecutive playoff appearances — plus two national championships.
Clemson enters the game with QB DJ Uiagalelei taking the reins from 2021 No. 1 draft pick Trevor Lawrence. Uiagalelei displayed flashes of greatness in two starts last year, one a top-5 matchup against Notre Dame. He’ll get the chance to show his talent in another huge contest with the help of top receiving target WR Justyn Ross, who makes his return after missing last season.
Aiding the offense is a strong defense, headed by a deep defensive line rotation featuring Bryan Bresee, Myles Murphy, KJ Henry, and more. Behind them, they’ll have linebackers James Skalski and Baylon Spector filling the gaps. In the secondary, potential first-round pick CB Andrew Booth will man one side of the field while long-time starter Nolan Turner patrols the middle.
Georgia has talent of its own, highlighted by the offensive backfield trio of QB JT Daniels, RB Zamir White and RB James Cook. The three will look to pick up their production after losing their injured WR George Pickens, who led the Bulldogs in receiving touchdowns in 2020.
As always, Georgia enters the game with an elite defense. DL Jordan Davis and LB Nolan Smith highlight a fearsome front-seven. The backend sees an influx of experienced talent with transfer cornerbacks Tykee Smith and Derion Kendrick (a former Clemson Tiger) looking to shut down opposing passing attacks.
There are stars across the roster for the Bulldogs and Tigers entering Week 1. When the two meet, the individual matchups are sure to be tightly contested.
Georgia vs. Clemson may come down to the wire. Even in Week 1, this game can have future Playoff implications down the road. Look for each team to try and make a statement to open the season.
Preseason poll update
Clemson ranks ahead of Georgia in both the AP Poll and the Coaches Poll to open the season. Here's what the Preseason rankings look like:
|AP Poll||Ranking||Coaches Poll|
|Ohio State||4||Ohio State|
|Texas A&M||6||Texas A&M|
|Iowa State||7||Notre Dame|
|Notre Dame||9||North Carolina|
|Miami (FL)||14||Southern California|
|Coastal Carolina||22||Oklahoma State|
|Arizona State||25||Ole Miss|
Georgia and Clemson play at 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, September 4th. Here's the rest of the Top 25 schedule:
Thursday, Sept. 2
- The Citadel at No. 22 Coastal Carolina | 7 p.m. | ESPN+
- Weber State at No. 24 Utah | 7:30 p.m. | Pac-12 Network
- No. 4 Ohio State at Minnesota | 8 p.m. | FOX
- Southern Utah at No. 25 Arizona State | 10:30 p.m. | Pac-12 Network
Friday, Sept. 3
Saturday, Sept. 4
- No. 19 Penn State at No. 12 Wisconsin | 12 p.m. | FOX
- No. 2 Oklahoma at Tulane | 12 p.m. | ABC
- No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 14 Miami (Florida) (Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia) | 3:30 p.m. | ABC
- No. 17 Indiana at No. 18 Iowa | 3:30 p.m. | Big Ten Network
- Northern Iowa at No. 7 Iowa State | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN+
- Miami (Ohio) at No. 8 Cincinnati | 3:30 p.m. | ESPN+
- No. 23 Louisiana at No. 21 Texas | 4:30 p.m. | FOX
- San Jose State at No. 15 USC | 5 p.m. | Pac-12 Network
- FAU at No. 13 Florida | 7:30 p.m. | SEC Network
- No. 3 Clemson vs. No. 5 Georgia (Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.) | 7:30 p.m. | ABC
- Kent State at No. 6 Texas A&M | 8 p.m. | ESPNU
- Montana at No. 20 Washington | 8 p.m. | Pac-12 Network
- No. 16 LSU at UCLA | 8:30 p.m. | FOX
Sunday, Sept. 5
Georgia vs. Clemson: Series history
The Georgia Bulldogs first played the Clemson Tigers way back in 1897 when the Tigers traveled to Athens to lose 24-0. Fast forward to the 21st century and the Bulldogs have won six out of the last seven meetings. In 2013's season opener, Clemson defeated UGA 38-35 in a top-10 clash. In the most recent meeting in 2014, the Bulldogs returned the favor, blowing out the Tigers 45-21 to open the season.
Georgia leads the series 42-18-4. Here are all the meetings since 2000:
|Aug. 30, 2014||Athens, GA||Georgia||45-21|
|Aug. 31, 2013||Clemson, SC||Clemson||38-35|
|Aug. 30, 2003||Clemson, SC||Georgia||30-0|
|Aug. 31, 2002||Athens, GA||Georgia||31-28|
Georgia vs. Clemson: How they stack up
Georgia and Clemson were ranked 5 and 3 in the preseason AP Poll, respectively. Here's how they stack up based off of 2020's results.
(includes bowl game)
|No. 5||2021 preseason AP rank||No. 3|
|32.3||Points per game||43.5|
|424.1||Yards per game||502.3|
|248.7||Pass yards allowed||214.2|
|72.3||Rush yards allowed||112.7|
1,231 yards (10 TDs, 2 INT)
|Returning Passing leader||DJ Uiagalelei
914 yards (5 TDs, 0 INT)
779 yards (11 TDs)
|Returning Rushing leader||Lyn-J Dixon
190 yards (2 TDs)
514 yards (3 TDs)
|Returning Receiving leader||Justyn Ross
865 yards (8 TDs) in 2019
71 total tackles (1.5 TFL)
|Returning Defense||Baylon Spector
64 total tackles (10.5 TFL)