The Georgia-Clemson top-10 clash Saturday features two explosive offenses and two defenses with some question marks.
No wonder the over-under of 71 set by sports books is the highest ever for a Georgia game.
At least that’s according to Brandon Pertner of Phil Steele Publications.
His records of the combined total points set for games only go back until 2003 but he has “100 percent confidence” it’s the highest ever for Georgia because those numbers “have done nothing but go up on average in each of the last 10 years.”
Here are the highest over/unders he had listed for Georgia:
2009 vs. Texas A&M in Independence Bowl 65.5 (Georgia won 44-20)
2012 vs. Georgia Tech 63.5 (Georgia won 42-10)
2009 vs. Tennessee Tech 63 (Georgia won 38-0)
2010 at Auburn 63 (Auburn won 49-31)
2012 vs. Ole Miss 62 (Georgia won 45-17)
2009 at Oklahoma State 61 (Oklahoma State won 24-10)
2012 vs. Nebraska in Capital One Bowl 60.5 (Georgia won 45-31)
2007 vs. Kentucky 60 (Georgia won 24-13).
As the Oklahoma State game in 2009 shows, expected shootouts don’t always materialize.
“Heck, it might be 6-3, you never know,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said this week. “In an opening game, there’s always mistakes on both sides, there’s always some unknowns from both sides just because of the sheer nature of preparation. You have so much more time to prepare.”
Still, most see this as a high-scoring affair.
I asked Georgia safety Connor Norman if he expected to see a game in the 30s or 40s.
Instead of saying something like 35-14 Georgia, he went with the first option.
“I guess as a defensive guy, I guess you’d want to say the 30s,” Norman said. “It’s hard to predict. There’s two great offenses out there. We definitely have a big test on our hands.”
Another defensive guy was thinking like Vegas.
“The first thought of that game is whichever defense can hold them under 30,” David Pollack, Georgia’s three-time former All-American defensive end said back in April.
–Please follow me at Twitter.com/marcweiszer