UGA confident about facing Clemson’s high-powered offense in season opener

MACON — Georgia’s season opener against Clemson is a step up from last season’s first game against Buffalo.

Though the Bulls proved to be a bit more of a challenge than the Bulldogs were expecting — Georgia won 45-23 — wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell said there’s more motivation to be in top form to open the season when going against a top tier program.

“And then going against Buffalo, you’re not really excited, not downing Buffalo at all because Buffalo played a real good game against us,” cornerback Damian Swann said Tuesday at the Pigskin Preview media event at the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. “It’s just the different résumés that different programs have.”

A lot of the buzz around the matchup, scheduled for Aug. 31, stems from the offenses of both programs. Clemson’s offense, steered by quarterback Tajh Boyd, and Georgia’s offense, directed by fourth-year starting quarterback Aaron Murray, averaged 512.7 and 467.6 yards a game, respectively. Georgia returns all but one of its starters, and Clemson returns seven.

That could make for a high-scoring affair in Death Valley. 

But when Mitchell hears about high score predictions, he doesn’t buy into it.

“I got confidence in our team. I hope they have confidence in their team to not let somebody put that many points on them,” the junior said. “I feel like it’ll be a good game back and forth. Whoever works the hardest is going to win.”

But there’s still an entire summer and fall camp to get through before kickoff. A lot could change between now and then.

“That’s a pretty strong start. I think everybody understands that and wants to be prepared as possible,” Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “As far as how it’ll go, who knows? Who knows? … It’s hard to say. I know both teams will be highly ranked, highly motivated.”

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