In what turned out to be a defensive slugfest, the No. 5 Georgia Bulldogs shut down the No. 3 Clemson Tigers 10-3 in a matchup sure to have College Football Playoff implications down the stretch. Heisman candidates D.J. Uiagalelei and JT Daniels struggled in a matchup ruled by both defenses.
Georgia was a 2.5 point underdog at kickoff at DraftKings Sportsbook.
This contest was the complete opposite of the most recent two meetings between the powerhouse programs. Clemson won a shootout 38-35 in 2013 before Georgia responded with a 45-21 drubbing in Athens the following year. It was fitting for a defense to score the first points of this contest with Georgia’s Christopher Smith taking an interception back 74 yards to give the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead.
The Tigers never looked comfortable against a formidable Georgia defense, giving up seven sacks in the game. Uiagalelei struggled to find time to connect with his receivers, creating problems for Clemson’s offense. It wasn’t as if Georgie fared any better; the Bulldogs managed just three points outside of their defensive score. Clemson finally got on the board with a field goal early in the fourth quarter but the Tigers wouldn’t find any more points.
Both teams get a break in Week 2 after this heavyweight clash. Clemson will attempt to find its form against South Carolina State while Georgia’s offense looks to click against UAB. It looks like Clemson’s next tough contest will be September 25 at North Carolina State, while Georgia visits Auburn October 2.